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HLTA, Foundation Degree or ..?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by y6ta, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. Not sure how long it's been in place but I'm almost finished my two years which ran with HLTA in the first year as well as SEN and the second year ran with SEN. The BA is also running with SEN specialism.
  2. I am a HLTA ans have been for over 5years now, we get more and more of a work load and definately don't get the pay we should, i have a 37 hour contract but am still classed as part time. I have a BA Hons degree but they keep changing the goal poast to do the GTP. i do half over a weeks teaching along with all the paper work involved i do feel that HLTA are given a raw deal
    I work in a SEN school with children with profiund and multiple learning difficulties
    AS i keep saying not fair wage wise.

  3. hubcap

    hubcap New commenter

    So the question is, is HLTA worth going for or is it better to go for the teacher route instead? It would be nice to look into the future to see where education is going. Are there going to be TAs? Will there be more HLTAs and TAs than teachers?
    On the one hand HLTA is a good option if you want to stay a TA, after all its the highest you can go.
    On the other if you want to gain more knowledge why not go on the foundation degree and aim to be a teacher?
    Are there going to be jobs around? If so, which one do you think will be the most popular, ta or teacher?
  4. i agree. i was one of the earliest to gain the 'STATUS' - this term is key. with a hlta contract if it's anything like mine you can be asked to do anything - and i'm a lucky one as i am paid all my hours at hlta rate, some tas that cover PPA are only paid the hours they cover so effectively have 2 contracts. i run a nurture room, cover 2 afternoons PPA and very frequently am met with 'can you just cover...' often with no preparation time etc.
    there are elements as with all jobs that are very satisfying, it is important to know what you want out of the role - if you want to teach then great, use it to 'test the water,' it is a vastly different role from school to school. i attended a hlta conference and everyone i met not only had different pay scales, but very different roles as well.

    weigh up the pros and cons and my best advice - speak to people already in the job - where do you see yourself in 5 years time? if its possibly teaching - start that now.
  5. Its definitely NOT worth going HLTA route - u have all the work with no financial reward! If you're seeking personal development, try the degree route, HLTA route is not worth the time and effort involved!. I obtained HLTA 'status' over five years ago (when it first became an option) it really hasn't helped me at all.

  6. I was a primary HLTA doing much the same as Goldc. I loved my job, even though I wasn't been paid as a full time HLTA. Unfortunately things changed at the school I was working at, making it not such a great place to be. I was told of a job working at a senior school, as a faculty support assistant within the ehglish department. There are FSA's in most of the other departments and our role is 'to do exactly what it says on the tin'! I support the faculty, covering lessons, doing admin and supporting the class teachers. I love it! I am paid for 37 hours per week and have the school holidays, minus 10 days, (5 training days and 5 days during the breaks ) My pay is more than an ATA or Cover Supervisor and I feel that the work I do is valued by the department.
    My only advice is to say, "think out of the box", there could be a job for you in senior school! The primary sector have been using TA's for far too long, using them as a cheap option and yet the standard and quality of what they have been getting is most of the time, second to none. Maybe after this weekend's news things might change and hopefully, for the better.
  7. I began working as a primary TA 6 years ago. After a year I moved to working full time (32.5hrs term time only) as a TA in a secondary school. I completed the CACHE TA qualifications, and was invited to complete the assessment only HLTA course specialising in science in 2008. Sixth months after I achieved HLTA status my school created an HLTA post within the science department for me, still 32.5 hrs/term time only but paid at HLTA rate. Whilst achieving my HLTA status I began a Foundation degree and was then paid 37hrs/tto. By completing independant study modules during the holidays I finished Uni this May with a First class BA (Hons) Education in Professional Practice degree (2.5 years in total).I sucessfully applied for the GTP and will start this in Sept, teaching science [​IMG] It can be done (I also have 3 children, 2 dogs etc etc) A word of caution though....to follow the GTP route in <u>secondary</u> schools your degree needs to be minimum 40% subject content eg, if you apply for music your degree must be 40% music (some GTP providers insist on 50%). There were several people who I studied with who could not make their modules fit this criteria and therefore could not even apply for GTP places.
  8. Hi, I am at the end of my second year of foundation degree and starting BA honours in Sept, I'm really enjoying course although it is hard work! I completed my HLTA last may and to be honest it hasn't made much difference in the workplace, I am cover supervisor 2 afternoons a week but not paid as HLTA all the time (although school do use my knowledge and status to their advantage!) From my course I have learnt that each school use their HLTA's differently so perhaps a chat with your SMT will help you to decide. Good luck!
  9. Hi...
    Not read all the posts on here so sorry in advance if I repeat anything that's been said already. I've been a TA for 16 years. To cut a long story short, I've done the lot. STAC through Open University, HLTA and Foundation Degree. Now finally, I have topped up my Foundation Degree to BA (Honours) status in Primary Education with QTS with Edge Hill. I start my NQT post in September with the school I did my teaching practice in (you couldn't do teaching practice in your employed school).
    I consider myself one of the lucky ones. When I started employment (I've been a TA in the same school for 16 years) you had to be NNEB qualified and got paid on an ALL YEAR ROUND contract. I've seen TAs start my school, doing the same job but on term time only and think it's just wrong. Especially if you consider the challenges of the role now.
    My advice is if you enjoy covering classes, go down the Foundation Degree route and then maybe on to teaching. I never intended going into teaching initially, I just wanted to improve my skills. In the end I got the bug I suppose. HLTA was a status I got just to improve my chances on getting on the BA course. It didn't change my role or pay in school. In fact, despite gaining the Foundation Degree it made no difference either. My TA line manager in school is less qualified paper wise than me (she has no HLTA or Foundation Degree) yet is still better at the line manager job than I would ever be. A role I wouldn't want anyway. The Foundation Degree is hard work so if you want to get out of TA work it's a good route but if you want it to improve your status in your current school I'd think again... Looks good on the CV though so you can negotiate a better deal elsewhere...
    Hope this is some help to somebody.....
  10. hubcap

    hubcap New commenter

    Hi I am on year 2 of the foundation degree at the moment. The LEA has funded 75% of it and I had to pay the rest. It all depends on what you and your partner earn. You will be told about this when you enroll,Our school will give &pound;100 towards any course per TA per year and thats it. I have one afternoon off per week- unpaid.
    Hope this helps!
  11. i have just signed up for a foundation degree and was told that my h.l.t.a was grade level 4 therefore i had to pay more which i havent got and then someone said no its a level 3 and yes i had to do the foundation degree next in order to then go on to the degree i am very confused could i have just gone to a straight forward degree course?
  12. Hi,
    As I understand it, the HLTA isn't a qualification but a status and is not related to any grades (ie. you are deemed competent enough to be given the 'higher level' status). A long time ago I did my NVQ 2 & 3 (ie. level 2 & 3) and have just finished a foundation degree of which the first year is classed as a level 4, the second year a level 5. To go and complete a full BA degree would take me to a level 6.

    Having worked as a TA for 12 years I have found that what I am now expected to carry out in school, for the same (if not less) money and on the same grade, is far more than when I started. Whereas I used to support the class teacher in a reception class, I am now covering PPA and charge of classes in both KS 1 & 2 for more than three full afternoon sessions as well as supporting some children within classes and carrying out certain intervention programmes.
    I know there are roles such as HLTA and Learning mentor, however, in my area they seem to be very thin on the ground (I'd put a sad smiley if I had one!). Luckily I undertook the HLTA course and foundation degree to improve my skills and I love working in primary education but still feel a little gutted that goalposts seem to have been moved (another sad smiley)

    Good luck in your studies. I hope you enjoy the foundation degree, it's challenging but fantastic when you reach the end and finally graduate (happy smiley with thumbs up).
  13. snugglepot

    snugglepot Occasional commenter

    HLTA is a status and it is regarded as a Level 4.There was talk about changing it to a qualification but it seems to have gone quiet about that change.
  14. Hello :)
    I have just finished my PGCE and for a variety of reasons decided not to get a teaching job this year, hence why I applied for, and got an HLTA post.
    It is a lovely school and everyone is very friendly BUT jobwise I think I am doing a very similar job as the teacher and getting a much lesser salary for it. I have to plan, teach, mark and assess, which is no different to when I was teaching.
    In retrospect I should have hung on until I was ready for a teaching job and not jumped into a HLTA role.
  15. hi
    I ve been in an HLTA post for 2 years and i love it i plan for PHSCE, RE, Music and Art, covering PPA. Its the best thing i have done. i also cover for teachers when they are on courses and they leave their planning. i am full time. i think it is worth going for if you want to be taken on as an HLTA. Dont be fooled though, you will not get payed as an HLTA unless you are taken on as that role.
  16. Hi All,
    I was a HLTA in a primary school and took the foundation degree on day release (took 3 years when I did it). I then topped up at uni in the evening, to a BA (hons) Education. After that I applied for a GTP but didn't get a place (over 300 applicants for 30 places). I finally completed a PGCE and am now in my first teaching job.
    It was hard work, working fulltime whilst studying, but I am so happy. I am loving having my own class, not someone elses. I am finally getting a decent wage and although the workload is heavy all my experience as a HLTA is helping me to keep it in perspective. I am sure this experience also went in my favour when applying for jobs. I applied for 4 got 2 interviews but only needed to attend 1!
    I do not take work home except my maths planning (takes 1-2 hours max).

    I would say that if any of you are thinking about going down this road, it is well worth it!!
    Good luck

  17. Hello, can somebody help me with a question please? Does a BA childhood studies degree give you a level 4 TA? And can you cover PPA with this degree please?
  18. snugglepot

    snugglepot Occasional commenter

    It should be higher. I think it is Level 6 but it is quite a while since I did anything at Uni. Ring the uni or the LA and ask them. HLTA is Level 4. Well you can cover with HLTA so yes you would be able to. Are you applying for a job? Just check first as some HLTAs cover all PPA which is hard work.
  19. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    Our LA still requires you to have, or gain within a short time of starting the role, HLTA Status, regardless of degree or even Qualified Teacher Status - but I believe other LAs do not have this requirement.
  20. Nicolamaniar

    Nicolamaniar New commenter

    Just replying to your foundation degree - I have done mine and it gives you level 4/5 and the BA Hons top up is the Level 6... hope that helps x

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