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HLTA with my own class

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by kim_x_x, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. kim_x_x

    kim_x_x New commenter

    Hi, I've been working as a HLTA for the past year covering PPA, planning for my own groups ect. However as of this month I will be having my own class, only a small class of 12 with a few more in the afternoon. Is this right for a HLTA? I will only be getting 1 hour PPA but will plan every lesson for the whole week. I am also only paid till 3.30, the time school finishes but still expected to stay for staff meetings. Is this normal for a HLTA? Should I have more PPA? I feel a bit like the cheaper option than a teacher
     
  2. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Established commenter

    Hi kim
    No, this is definitely not 'normal' for a HLTA - but then, I suppose you could say 'what is normal?' - every school is different and every HLTA will have a different role (I've been a HLTA for 10 years). However, what you are being asked to do (as you say - be a cheap teacher) is absolutely NOT what the role was intended for. The clue is in the name - higher level teaching assistant!!!!!

    Even though we know it's not right, on so many levels - for you, for teachers, for the children (and I'm not saying for a moment that you can't cope or won't give the children a fair deal) - we can't change the world or your school! So, much depends on if you are happy to do it. If you do want to give it a go, you need a meeting with the Head/SLT asap - preferably on the inset day at the start. I would email the Head teacher today to arrange it and would suggest you raise:

    - You need to be paid for half and hour before school starts and an hour after school - 8.30-4.30 - to ensure that you are ready for the day, marking can be done, etc.
    - You need the same PPA as teachers - half a day per week.
    - You need a weekly meeting with teacher(s) from the year group to support you with planning and assessment; this could be after school (for which you will be paid) or during your PPA time.

    Those are just my first thoughts. Do let us know what you decide to do and how you get on.
     
    GLsghost and alexanderosman like this.
  3. kim_x_x

    kim_x_x New commenter

    I'm excited to have my own class and looking forward to it but can't help but feel a bit used. Like you say if the teachers get 2.5 hours PPA. Why should I have to do my planning at home in my own time? I also have a young child so don't really want to be working in my own time but don't seem to have much choice. It's also a lot of responsibility if these children don't get where they should be. I've been at the school 9 years and have 2 degrees in education so I think they take that for granted a bit as they know I will get the job done but my workload seems to increase all the time. My hours were cut from 4 to 3.30 and now I have more work to do. I also haven't heard of HLTAs being a full time teacher. I think I will have a word with my head tomorrow. Thanks for the advice.
     
    GLsghost likes this.
  4. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Established commenter

    I agree - you clearly have a high level of skills, qualifications, knowledge and experience .... they are taking it for granted that you can cope and will 'get the job done'. And as for cutting your hours - that leaves me speechless! It's a huge responsibility. But I do know how difficult it is; I'm sure there will be those who come along here and say 'Just say no.' But we all have families to feed and mortgages to pay, and if the school have made up their minds that this is your role, it's not easy to challenge them. You are right to be talking to your head tomorrow. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
     
    GLsghost and alexanderosman like this.
  5. bonxie

    bonxie Occasional commenter

    You're right. You're doing a teacher's job but without the appropriate level of pay. You're being exploited to save the school money at your expense. Teachers' wages have gone down dramatically in real terms over recent years and you're not even getting that. In doing the planning at home, you're giving up your free time to do work the school aren't willing to pay for.
    That's just taking the mickey and adding insult to injury.

    Combined the lack of appropriate remuneration with getting less PPA than a qualified teacher and staying unpaid for staff meetings, you're really being taken advantage of. No wonder you're feeling used!:mad:
     
    GLsghost and alexanderosman like this.
  6. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    Talk to your union for advice. If you are hourly paid, I think you ought to be sticking to those hours. If they only pay you to the end of school, then what doesn't get marked as you go will have to go hang - but you should make sure you have union support first.

    It might also be worth asking about on-the-job training to get a teaching qualification. Sadly, they're probably not interested in helping you qualify, as they would then have to pay you more.

    Unfortunately, I suspect your biggest leverage is "Thanks for the experience I'm getting this term. Now that I've got so much classroom experience, please will you provide me with a reference for the post I'm applying for at a school that is willing to employ me at teacher rates / put me through teacher training."
     
    GLsghost likes this.
  7. rolls

    rolls New commenter

    You should really be paid unqualified teacher rates if you have your own class. If you have responsibiliy for planning, assessing and completing admin work for this group of students then you are clearly taking on teaching not HLTA duties. HLTA duties would normally involve some class cover and leading group sessions but a member of teaching staff should be planning / overseeing thiese activities.
    I think the idea of approaching management and saying that they need to consider your pay, hours and whether they will help you become qualified. If you do not get a positive response then do look elsewhere for employment. Your experience will make you attractive to other schools who hopefully will offer you better conditions of service. Leaving is difficult but good for your CV and career.
     
    bonxie and GLsghost like this.
  8. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    If you are officially paid until 3.30 but have been told that attendance at free school meetings is mandatory, that effectively reduces your hourly rate of pay.

    If you are already being paid at or close to the National Minimum Wage this has the effect of bringing your wages below the NMW. (Sports Direct and Argos were done for doing something similar to their staff.)

    If attendance at after school meetings is a compulsory part of your working day wages are being unlawfully withheld from you.

    Chat to your union.
     
    galerider123 and bonxie like this.
  9. Wotton

    Wotton Established commenter

    In my old place 12 was regarded as a group though we didn't always have to plan or have them for the whole day. It was common for TAs not HLTAs to have half the class in the afternoon on their own. If you are teaching , planning and marking for this "group" then you should be paid as an unqualified teacher.
    What do the parents think about you having them as your class, this is no reflection on your experience but surely they want their children taught by a qualified teacher. Would the school assist you in gaining QTS?
    I just feel in many school TAs/HLTAs are expected to do more than they are paid for and the pay is carp!
     
  10. snugglepot

    snugglepot Occasional commenter

    I don't know any HLTA that has their own class. I have covered a lot as I have worked with teachers who have management responsibilities and therefore they are called away leaving me with the class at short notice. I think you should ask for the same PPA time and before and after school pay if that is what is happening but check that teachers are still being paid for that first. Then it is up to you whether you agree. Has this just been given to you this term? If so, that is very unfair as the teachers will have spent time in the holidays getting to grips and planning the new term topic. Will you be given that planning and deliver it or will you have to plan it all?
    GLSghost- Kim will not be paid at minimum wage she is a HLTA and will be paid at that rate.
    To the others who say pay her at unqualified teacher rate, be careful. Kim you might already be on a higher rate so please check first before you suggest it. I discovered I was on a higher hourly rate than the NQT last year!
    Only you can decide whether you accept this position but I would challenge some it and at least have the conversation with the Headteacher. Good luck and let us know how you get on.
     
  11. bounceback

    bounceback New commenter

    This is appalling! I am a teacher now working as supply ( probably my last year). I have been in a lot of schools and the way TAs are being used to cover classes, without being paid properly, is completely out of order. It angers me so much that people who genuinly care about the children are abused this way. I think TAs need to get organised (I don't mean that in a disrespectful way), and start demanding fair pay for what you do. Schools would collapse without you!
     
  12. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Could you not enquire about doing schools direct training? Within the school you are working at? As i think you have the credentials and experience.

    Some people argue that learning on the job as opposed to a pgce is better. Its entirely up to you what approach you take. There us a lot of strain within Education and if you feel you are being stretched too thinly on the ground have a chat with someone who could help.
     
  13. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter


    But there have been government petitions. I dont know where they are disappearing to because im hearing nothing on the news about a payrise. We definitely deserve to be on a higher wage. Thats a forgone conclusion.
     
  14. snugglepot

    snugglepot Occasional commenter

    What about those of us that we're on a higher wage and had the rug pulled from under our feet ( after studying, working hard, giving extra hours, going on twilight courses unpaid) with Single Status!
     
    Gsr25 likes this.
  15. Gsr25

    Gsr25 Occasional commenter

    I questioned similar at School. I lead forest School and take groups of up to 15 children out. I was told that as this isn’t considered as a full class and therefore a large group it meant that I wasn’t entitled to any extra pay (not even as a HLTA)
     
    Wotton likes this.

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