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How much "free work" would you say you do?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by Ddsombre, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. Ddsombre

    Ddsombre New commenter

    Hey gang!

    So, like many of you, I've been doing this job for...a long time :p

    However, I've noticed lately that I'm finding myself doing a lot of "extra" work that I'm not really being paid for. For example. I might stay behind for 90 minutes on a Friday cause a certain child is acting out, or do 30 minutes 2/3 times a week. Or I'll go on a PGL and do an extra 10 hours over the course of the 3 days, probably more. Or I'll do a PPA cover/take a class solo for the morning, and I only get paid my level 3 hours or something.

    I feel really cheeky about going down to say "Oh can I fill in a time sheet for Friday" cause I know how bad schools have it at the moment. Especially in my borough, where there's negative money with all the children leaving for different schools, you just feel like an idiot for putting in a 2hour time sheet, especially when your hourly wage is as **** as ours is.

    How do you guys deal with this? I can't be the only one.
    sunshineneeded likes this.
  2. annie2020

    annie2020 New commenter

    The TAs at my school have been having that discussion recently. It mostly centred around weekly staff meetings that we had to attend but were outside our paid hours. Some claimed the extra time as overtime, some as TOIL and some not at all. It ended up being raised by the HT and an official guideline re pay was put in place since they're mandatory meetings.

    As for other times. If you stay because you're being asked to stay then I'd claim it as overtime.

    Voluntary staying behind is your personal choice and shouldn't be paid in my opinion.

    PGL - discuss with your line manager or HT before you agree to go. As long as people just do it for free they won't offer any reimbursement of your time. If you're not prepared to do it for nothing then don't go.

    Covering whole classes - definitely extra pay for the extra responsibility. Talk to your head re the going rate of pay.

    I just fill in monthly overtime and TOIL sheets, no matter how few hours I've accrued. Don't be too shy to ask!
    Catgirl1964 and sunshineneeded like this.
  3. JustJon

    JustJon New commenter

    I'll do the occasional extra hours through the week, but a lot of it will be voluntary and even if I have to spend extra time with certain children who might be playing up, that's all part of the job in my view.

    If I do PPA cover, I'll just go to the administrators and fill out a claims sheet for the extra hours and being in the teacher role, there's no hassle at all. Pretty sure they have to pay you for things like that, but I could be wrong.

    As for PGL and other trips... erm, you're literally getting to go away for the weekend! Even with the added responsibility of looking after the children, the experience itself should be enough payment :p although we do get a day in lieu anyway.
  4. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    It's such a tricky question and one that has been discussed for as long as I've been working in schools (nearly 30 years)! I think all of the above advice is good and is the same as I would be giving … but, like most of you, I still do a great deal unpaid. I think we're all doing as the old saying goes, 'Do as I say, not do as I do.' We advise other people to claim for most of their extra hours, then we just carry on doing ours unpaid!
    Support staff at our school do get a day in lieu when they go on PGL trips. PPA, etc, is only covered by HLTAs (not TAs) and HLTAs are paid on a higher scale. Some people claim extra for every half hour they do here and there, but the majority just see it as part of the job.
  5. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Occasional commenter

    I have also been a TA for many years and do not do any extra hours. At my school TAs can and do claim overtime for any time worked over and above their contract hours. Bearing in mind that we are low paid, hourly paid and all pro rata, I consider it only fair that extra hours are paid for.
    suzeworld likes this.
  6. suzeworld

    suzeworld New commenter


    I am looking to be a TA after a career in teaching. In teaching my hours were long or longer. That’s the territory.

    As a TA with a pay rate no better than retail I will not be doing any voluntary hours. Retail is boring work and education isn’t, so I would always prefer education over a shop, but £9.37 an hour is what it is. Retail might even work out better pay because Sainsbury’s give a decent discount on yr shopping. :D
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  7. Gsr25

    Gsr25 Occasional commenter

    I had a better hourly wage working evening shifts at the posh supermarket than I did as a TA. I loved it because I didn’t have to speak to anyone, just put stock out when the shop was shut and would listen to the music.
    suzeworld likes this.

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