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HLTA overload and a kick in the teeth

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by jsandever82, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. annie2020

    annie2020 New commenter

    Have you asked the school why the NQTs can't plan the lessons you'll be covering? It's their class after all. The NQTs at the schools I've worked at have always planned everything. You don't get PPA time, you don't plan. Once you start you'll be expected to do it all the time, so I'd recommend taking a stand from day one.
    Supplylady likes this.
  2. The workload sounds like what a HLTA should be doing. I teach about 2 days a week and provide intervention support and classroom support on the other days. I do break duties, clubtime duties, bus duties and some registrations. I also have other whole school responsibilities. I fully plan, prepare resources, mark work and will be responsible for reporting to the class teacher to contribute to report writing / iep progress. I also deliver staff training for some ICT aspects a couple of times a year.

    Sure this work cannot possibly fit into the time I work but unfortunately this is a growing trend in education and it affects staff at all levels. I’m not saying that it’s right to have to work unpaid overtime but I personally chose to progress into the role knowing the responsibilities in advance. At the moment I am making it work and our leadership are very approachable should additional time be needed for specific projects.

    One thing I would say is stop trimming and sticking work in books. That is not a job for teaching assistants. The students should do this themselves. I work with SEN students and they do this at the end of their lessons. No reason for the staff to do it. Just a thought.
  3. hubcap

    hubcap New commenter

    Because it is happening, it doesn't make it right.
    If you are stressed speak to your head teacher. If nothing is done, take time off because you are stressed.
    Your health is important. Without it, nothing works.
  4. Ivyrose

    Ivyrose New commenter

    I was awarded HLTA status in 2006 and since then have carried out various tasks within that role. In addition to this I am also Assistant SENCO and Exam Access Arrangements Assessor (am qualified to do this). Without going into the long and length saga that has been my work life I am after some advice. In 2007 I was HLTA for English and taught the subject at KS3 until 2013. Due to the absence of a SENCO my workload increased and I struggled so gave up the teaching side of the role. A new SENCO was finally appointed in 2010 and I stopped teaching English by took on Read Write a literacy intervention in place of MFL. Gradually over the last 7 years various responsibilities have been given to other members of staff, responsibility I have enjoyed doing but these members of staff unhappy in their previous roles have had new ones created for them, utilizing the responsibility that have been taken from me. I have been assured each time that they are perfectly happy with my work, the have been no complaints and it will lighten my workload, which for the past seven years I have not once complained is too be heavy, managing my time effectively. In 2018 we undertook a restructure of the department and a new SENCO and another Assistant SENCO (a qualified teacher) started working January 2018. A member of SLT decided that it would be a good use of my skills (felt like an insult not a compliment) that I should go back in the classroom as a teaching assistant. I wasn't happy about this I decided 20 years ago that I wanted more responsibility as being a TA was not fulfilling enough to now be back where I started. Despite my initial feelings about this I embraced the lessons and discovered why I initially enjoyed being in the classroom and my desire to teach. Twice now since September opportunities have arise for me to teach subjects that am qualified to teach (Child care and food) but each time this has happened. Fristly a QTS was appointed which I totally understand but was upset about as I had been told I woudl get a trail period but didn't get it. The second time they have actually disbanded the group and the pupils have had to choose other options instead. Sorry for the long winded tale I'm getting to the point now. I feel that this member of SLT is the one blocking my teaching. We have 6 HLTA's in our school all who teach core subjects, I want to teach within the technology department. What should I do about this>
  5. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    At the risk of stating the obvious, if you want to teach ask the school to support you getting QTS. I'm pleased the school are employing qualified teachers, that's as it should be. It shouldn't take long to get the portfolio together.
  6. Ivyrose

    Ivyrose New commenter

    I am en-route to getting QTS I have one more module to complete through the OU and I will have completed my BA. This query isn't about that but what I should do if I feel I'm being deliberately held back by one particular member of SLT. Other HLTA's are teaching with less qualifications and experience than me and are not line managed by the same member of staff. We are a very large school employing almost 300 members of staff, the other HLTA's only teach five hours a week (two teaching groups all small classes and shadowed by QT's). Should I speak to her about my feelings? speak to another colleague? or should I just accept it and wait another year to see if they'll accept me for Schools Direct?
  7. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    Apply for schools direct. You clearly want to teach, by qualifying there's no further conversation to be had. I would have to argue that the others shouldn't be teaching either. You are working towards getting your degree, but say they are less qualified, are you suggesting they only have gcse's?

    Get your degree, go for QTS and compete on equal terms. All the TA's and HLTA's that I know who've qualified, have made superb teachers. You are always going to be in a position of goodwill and favour if you don't, feeling ill done by when a new NQT comes along or another HLTA seems to be better treated. You're almost there now, approach the school and ask if they'll offer you a place for when you complete. If they do you may find yourself treated differently.
  8. Ivyrose

    Ivyrose New commenter

    Thank you for your advice I should be ready for September. So will just wait it out and see if this SLT member has any influence on whether I get accepted for Schools Direct.
  9. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    Great news. There's nothing to stop you applying now, see if you can get your place in the bag early, it's a great motivator. Good luck.
  10. SarahPayne79

    SarahPayne79 New commenter

    I have been a teacher and decided to take on a TA3 role while my son was young so I didnt have to take work home.

    I have been in this role since 2011 and have found the role getting harder and harder as the years have progressed.

    I was full time and went part time and i cant imagine ever going back to full time. Its only Tuesday and I am already exhausted.

    I find that the role of a TA covers so much that TAs are always over stretched. I did find it easier being a teacher in the sense I was just responsible for my own class. The only plus to the TA role is I dont take work home and finish at a set time. In terms of the job itself it is very hard.

    Where I work TAs have gradually started to do more and more cover. I work 2.5 days a week, and I am expected to do:

    -interventions with children who have gaps across a range of areas.

    -assess, interpret the assessments to determine the gaps and set targets for a number of sen children within the yr group i work with and also other year groups.

    -oversee extra time during assessments for in class assessments.

    -i have weekly time tabled cover one whole afternoon a week in year group i am not assigned to.

    -since september lots of additional cover constantly happening on a weekly basis. Sometimes i get notice, sometimes im told on the morning which is stressful as i start at 8:30 and if im covering i like to be in earlier to get organised.

    -as i am assigned to yr6 im expected to support and help them along with SATs on top of my interventions.

    - other than when we are observed during a teachers observation, we are observed every term doing an intervention.

    - if parents are anxious about childs progress we are asked to allow a parent to observe us.

    - We are asked to let governors observe our interventions.

    -if i offered to plan my time tabled cover they would accept but I dont as i already do too much already.

    -if the tas are seen as having a strength in a particular area we are praised and then we are encouraged to take it on as a specialism to develop as part of our performance management.

    - we are allowed an hrs planning time a week which we have to fit into our time table but if we are required for cover we dont get that.

    - we are allowed an afternoon a term to work on our performance management targets but again if required for cover we dont get that. Our teachers never have their ppa taken away from them.

    It gets really frustrating as when we express our concerns we get told that we need more tas. When really they need a cover teacher to help lessen the load on us.

    Also its frustrating because we dont get paid for holidays as tas or lunch time and many of us only get 30mins lunch and we are starting to take work home, or stay longer or take work home in the holidays. Especially if we have a specialism that takes a lot of time such as EAL.

    At the same time like when it comes to behaviour management kids never seem to take TAs as seriously so i find that i work harder than the teacher to get the same desired behaviour from the class. I get the behaviour i want but def need to work harder at it.

    Plus if we go on courses or have training we are expected to train up the tas on it and do a ta staff meeting.

    And we are praised for our professional development by our deputy head but also when u want to implement anything no body really listens as you are seen as just a ta so if a teacher doesnt have to answer to you they dont have to take on board any training you’ve had.

    Oh and if we complain about all this its made out that we being silly, like why dont u want to be observed? Your so good! Or we get told things like oh well i can see your hearts not in it so ill find someone else to do that. So it makes you feel rubbish.

    Then if you get fed up about cover theyl make out that because its less than half a day it has to be covered internally but then it ends up being a whole morning.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
    sunshineneeded likes this.
  11. SarahPayne79

    SarahPayne79 New commenter

    So true what everyone is saying! Its become money saving. its only tuesday as i said before and ranting about workload already! I cant imagine being full time again.
  12. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    You definitely have a heavy workload,@SarahPayne79! However, much of it will sound very familiar to TAs everywhere - as you rightly say, the role is getting harder and harder and much of it is to do with money saving. Your school are taking full advantage of your QTS status and getting more than their money's worth. There are a few things I would query: someone at your school has a lot of time on their hands if they do termly observations of all TAs! We do annual (it's part of my role) and I have trouble fitting that in! Secondly, while I fully appreciate that governors would sometimes like to observe in school, I would be very wary of an anxious parent observing me working with their child. It would have to be a very carefully planned session. And finally, if you are allowed time for planning and working on PM targets, then this should be re-allocated if you are required to cover during those times.
    After 30 years of working full-time, as a HLTA for the last 10 plus, I cut down to four days a week this year (pre-retirement). I'm loving it and plan to do three days a week next year.

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