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Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by Galadriel1, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. I think finally, that I am going to quit during the summer hols'. Not certain but quite likely. I can't figure out how the portion of my pay due during the summer time off will be apportioned though. Naturally, I want to 'work' until the very last moment, even though I will not be physically present, if you see what I mean. The fact that I want to take advantage of the vagaries of the TA pay system may seem grasping I know but it doesn't to me, seeing as I believe it is only pay that I have already earnt.
    So I'm thinking I should send my HT a letter dated one month before my last payday before school resumes. This will satisfy the notice requirements and allow HT to hire someone else. Am I thinking straight in this?
    My other point is that I wonder whether I should send a copy of my letter to the governors. Should it be c/o the school or to a targeted representative?
    Hope there is someone who can help with this.

     
  2. I think finally, that I am going to quit during the summer hols'. Not certain but quite likely. I can't figure out how the portion of my pay due during the summer time off will be apportioned though. Naturally, I want to 'work' until the very last moment, even though I will not be physically present, if you see what I mean. The fact that I want to take advantage of the vagaries of the TA pay system may seem grasping I know but it doesn't to me, seeing as I believe it is only pay that I have already earnt.
    So I'm thinking I should send my HT a letter dated one month before my last payday before school resumes. This will satisfy the notice requirements and allow HT to hire someone else. Am I thinking straight in this?
    My other point is that I wonder whether I should send a copy of my letter to the governors. Should it be c/o the school or to a targeted representative?
    Hope there is someone who can help with this.

     
  3. rosyjan

    rosyjan New commenter


    Hi Galadriel1,
    I remember your post from 2010, when I left my job after fifteen years in the same school. I think you have got it right, just hand in your notice on the last day of summer term stating your leaving date four weeks after that. As you say you will have summer hols pay as it would have been worked out pro rata. This will also give your HT time to organise a replacement. I sent a copy of resignation letter to chair of govenors, though they never acknowledged it in any way.
    On my build up to leaving I felt dreadful and for a while afterwards felt like a breavement, even though it was all my choice.[​IMG] So be prepared for this.
    Have your reasons for leaving changed since 2010?
    I ended up working in another school shortly after leaving my post. I throughly enjoyed the first eighteen months, but things are starting to be all too familiar, being asked to cover classes which up to now have managed to talk my way out of. I too will be only carrying on for another couple of years.

    Good luck in what ever you choose.
     
  4. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    Galadriel, I would make the leaving date the 31st August, but would put my notice in right away to give them time to fill the job before the holidays- you probably do only have to give a month's notice (though, I have mentioned before that, in my LEA, I have realised that on HLTA grade I would have to give two months so you may need to double check if your contract has changed in recent years.) On the other hand, if you want to give as little notice as possible just check that there is nothing in your contract which specifies that holiday periods don't count as notice - I would be surprised if that is the case but just make doubly sure!
    I would make it the 31st because then you will get the full year's pay you are due - don't forget that they split a year's pay up into 12 equal monthly amounts but you are entitled to all 12 of them for the year - you're not getting anything more than your proper entitlement this way. My experience from one of my family leaving a Local Authority job ( not in school, admittedly) on a date which wasn't the last day of a month was that she was not paid the full wages due to her because of a convoluted method of working out leavers pay. ( I wanted her to make a complaint against them but she refused!)
    Good luck for the future - I'm going to try and stay where I am for as long as I can simply because I think I'm too old to get another job - not the right reason for staying though! To think I used to believe years ago that I had the best job ever!
     
  5. Yes, I am still moaning about the same old things, except that now they are compounded by the fact that (perhaps only at our school) TAs are treated as if they were unable to think for themselves. Indeed to have an actual idea of ones own about a child or a piece of work seems to be putting yourself forward in an unseemly manner above your station when you should be constantly tugging your forelock.(As you see, I really do need to go)
    I saw the writing on the wall when teachers started to do targeted 1/1, funded with huge money and resources by the government. Wasn't that the TA job at one time I can't help thinking? Just a pity that no such government backup was thrown at us as we struggled manfully for ever with just such children. My teacher relishes telling me what a difference the 1/1 has made...really pushing up levels. And that's another thing; if I hear the word 'sub level' one more time, I really shall have to go into a padded room and stuff a sock in my mouth to prevent my mindless rocking. Most of the interventions are now done by the teacher (better than by a TA being the inference as loud as a jumbo jet!), while I swan round the class 'policing' until she comes back again.
    The writing on the wall became indelible when bright sparks found the piece of gloriously apocalyptic research stating that the more time a child spends with a TA the less well they will actually do. In fact they can often go backwards! Well, there was never going to be any hope once the powers that be had this Sword of Damocles in their hand. So back we all had to come, into the bosom of the classroom so that we could be 'managed' and 'used' while our brains were forcibly extracted by dint of tedium. Personally, I feel as if I now have a degree in photocopying....scaling up...staples...toners, but I ask myself whether this is a transferable skill or not. God help us if it is.
    In short I have become what I see as a teacher's aid...I avoid the word assistant because that suggests a certain humanity. I am on a par with a paperclip.....which is most useful would be a close run thing!
    I am in no measure a teaching assistant. I don't know what is going to happen to the TA job in the future. On a serious note, I used to accept the pay situation because I was always aware of having a blindingly rewarding job and I feel I did it well. Parents have written to me to thank me in the past for my unfailing support for their children. The researchers clearly did not ask those parents for their views on the TA role. Now, however I am hard pressed to say what my job actually is. Yes, I inhabit the same space, but it is so much mindless drudgery with the photocopier on one side and data input on the other.
    I will not look for another school. If I am lucky I can move into Adult Ed. But otherwise, I will do all those things that I never found time for before and my list stretches to infinity.
    I truly admire your resolve to stay another couple of years...happiness to you.
     
  6. Just had to comment on this post. I am really sorry that you feel this way about a job that you clearly enjoyed at one point in the past.
    I have to disagree with this point though:
    Assuming you mean the DISS project, the findings were that children that are supported every single day of their school life by TAs and never work independently or with the teacher make less progress than peers. This is fairly obvious as they never have the opportunity to apply the learnt skills independently. Also it found that TAs were being asked to 'babysit', supporting children to complete tasks rather than teach. It is clear from your post that you actually agree with the report in a way - you do not want to simply be there in a room having minimal impact. You want to make an impact. This is what the report is supporting!
    The DISS project was in no way an attack on the quality of TAs we have. Schools should be reviewing the way they use TAs in order for them to have an impact. Basically what I am saying is that (and it might be too late), other schools will be different and will have set ups that will put your skills to best use. It would be a shame to lose great TAs under the misunderstanding of this report (I appreciate you have other reasons as well).
    Good luck with whatever you decide.

     
  7. I certainly agree that the constant pressure to hit targets is detrimental for both pupils and staff alike. I wish you well for the future Galadriel.
     
  8. From the way you have described your school's approach I am starting to wonder if we in fact work at the same school! It certainly sounds similar anyway.
     

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