1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Is it worth training to be HLTA?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by Rabbity, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. Am feeling very despondent at the moment. Am currently LSA at secondary school. Enjoy the work but feel have taken it as far as I can.

    Was trying to get into Learning Mentoring but without success. The jobs seem to be like gold dust around here.

    Am now considering trying to train as HLTA but from reading some of the TES posts, it seems that HLTAs are hated and resented by teachers who seem to see them as a threat.

    Would welcome any comments or ideas, either about LM or HLTA - let me know your experiences.

    Many thanks

     
  2. Am feeling very despondent at the moment. Am currently LSA at secondary school. Enjoy the work but feel have taken it as far as I can.

    Was trying to get into Learning Mentoring but without success. The jobs seem to be like gold dust around here.

    Am now considering trying to train as HLTA but from reading some of the TES posts, it seems that HLTAs are hated and resented by teachers who seem to see them as a threat.

    Would welcome any comments or ideas, either about LM or HLTA - let me know your experiences.

    Many thanks

     
  3. I know I am certainly not applying to become a qualified HLTA as our current HLTA staff are generally used as poorly paid supply teachers.
     
  4. I'm not sure HLTAs are hated any more than TAs in general. We cant win either way, so why not go for it! At least you'll be earning more.
     
  5. Just a couple of points:

    You do not train to be an HLTA. An HLTA merely states that a TA is working to a set of higher standards which you can prove by providing a file of evidence against 31 standards.

    2. You are not qualified as an HLTA it is not a qualification but a status.

    HLTAs are not hated, they are just TAs who work to a set of standards day in, day out. If the head wants to use this to provide cover for PPA then this is within the guidelines and if any hating is going around then perhaps it should be directed at the head!

    At the end of the day, HLTAs are not there just to provide cover, but to do the TA job they were always meant to except they have 'proved' they do it to a certain standard - the HLTA standard.

    There are so many misconceptions that it makes me wonder if anyone actually does any research about these things.
     
  6. "You do not train to be an HLTA. An HLTA merely states that a TA is working to a set of higher standards which you can prove by providing a file of evidence against 31 standards."

    I'm not so sure about this, calypso. Wasn't the idea that TAs in post, at the time the Remodelling Agreement took effect, could gain HLTA Status by the 'short route' if they could demonstrate, with that file of evidence, that they were already working to the required standards, but that, once the 'experienced' TAs had been accounted for, the only route to HLTA would be through a longer period of training?


    Of course, this was immediately subverted by HTs :-(

    To the OP:

    I am an HLTA at Secondary and I would say that the 'status' has been very useful for me. But then, my post is more in line with the original guidelines for HLTA laid down in the Workforce Remodelling Agreement. I don't do any cover or whole class work. I have a whole school responsibility in my area of expertise, which is teaching basic literacy skills (I even have a member of staff to manage...). And more money....

    Don't do it if you're only going to end up as cheap supply...
     
  7. hubcap

    hubcap New commenter

    My impression was that the head selected certain TAs to become HLTA and sent them on a course. I think also the foundation degree on the third year is the same 'status' as an HLTA. Correct me if I am wrong.
    Personally if you want to do more, the fundation degree could be a good choice, or maybe go and do a degree.
     
  8. With a national pay scale looming I would say go for it, it may be beneficial at a later date, there is no harm in being prepared, you have nothing to lose.
     
  9. I have been holding out against HLTAing because at my school, they are used for cheap 'teachering', and this does not sit well with me, as I absolutely understand the gripes of 'real' teachers who cannot get supply because TAs are doing it!

    However, I am now considering a 'volte face' as I suspect that when the National Pay Agreement comes I will watch my HLTA colleagues shoot to the top of the pile, even though in some cases, they are less stressed than those who have remained static. What irks me is that I know TAs who are shouldering huge responsibility, but because they are not HLTAs (ie; they did not want to commit to whole class teaching) they can go no further than a certain ceiling allows).

    This is what is wrong with the workforce
    'remodelling'; in our school HT has grabbed it and milked it for monetary reasons and it is no wonder that staff IMV are losing interest.

    I despise myself for doing it, but I will probably try to get this 'status' but purely because what irritates me now will be even worse, I think, after the new agreement comes into being.

    Another huge source of 'grghhhh' type irritation is that there are those TAs who know they are working to these standards already but have not been allowed to 'go forward'. The person who benefits in these cases, of course is the HT. You can't stop working at a certain level when you have the expertise, but it is of no benefit to yourself at all, but it certainly is to the school where you work!.
     
  10. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    Rabbity, for me it was well worth getting HLTA status - like maizie I am used in the way the role was always intended to be used and that seems to be the issue which makes the difference! I work in Primary and the teacher resentment seems to occur more in Secondary I think - though I'm sure there will be examples to prove otherwise.
    The HLTA for me finally 'officially' recognised the job I had been doing for quite a long time and gave me (eventually) a higher pay scale - though this is now under threat, of course!
    It is important to realise, though, that gaining the status does not automatically result in your being employed as an HLTA - there has to be a vacancy for such a post and no school is under any obligation to create one for someone who gains the status, though some have done so. Just as a teacher who chooses to work as a TA will be paid the TA rate regardless of their qualification, so many TAs who have gained the status continue to be employed on their existing level. In our LA heads are asked to clearly advise those wanting to be assessed if there is not going to be a position to apply for at the school where they currently work.
    Some previous posts have pointed out that if you work to HLTA standards then you don't just turn it off because you are not in that role, but if my wages are cut I will be stopping doing quite a large part of my current job as I have clear extra responsibilities which they other TAs in school do not undertake.
    The assessment process involves quite a bit of work but it is perfectly manageable so I would advise going for it! Good luck!
     
  11. I would say just check with your school that you will still have employment when you get your status before starting.

    I'm a TA and the mother of one of my friends trained to be a HLTA, only to be told when she qualified that they had no need for her qualifications.

    I'd say if it's something you want to do, you should do it if you can.
     
  12. HTs can't really lose out. When you get the status they do not have to officially recognise your skills with a particular post, but even if they don't they will still get the expertise, but the HLTA will get nothing. Having said that, lots of HLTAs like to get the status, for the feeling of recognition it gives them personally.


    I would say that there is definitely an element of 'training'. The non generic routes are often linked to FDs with particular modules that deal in depth with the chosen specialism, and you have to pass each module. Without doing the 'knowledge' you can't do the assignments in order to pass the module.
     
  13. I have just finished the assessment process for HLTA status and am lucky enough to be already employed as a HLTA in my school. I am paid at a much better rate than I was as a TA, however, with the pay goes alot more responsiblity, as I now teach a small class under the supervision of a teacher. If I get the status I will be pleased with myself and will feel that I have achieved something. I say go for it, if you are accepted onto the preparation course, you are already doing the job.
     
  14. rolls

    rolls New commenter

    Have a look at the posts that are being advertised in your area and see if there are any you are interested in that rquire HLTA. There are certainly no guarantees of career progression or better pay through acquiring HLTA but if you can see that are local schools who value it and have meaningful jobs linked to it then go for it.
    Alternatively have you considered taking a foundation degree? This is a lot of work but might improve your job chances for mentoring as well as senior TA posts. It is also a real qualification so can be used to build towards other rofessional qualifications.
     
  15. Thank you all for your replies.

    Am going to speak to my line manager today about the next step - feel much clearer now about what is entailed.

     
  16. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    Our local authority are now offering an NVQ in Learning Mentoring so if that is where your true interest lies you might want to look into the possibility of doing a course like that, Rabbity. having said that, there are few vacancies arising in our area now and I suspect that may be true elsewhere - if you missed out when these jobs were created initially it can be difficult - though by no means impossible - to get into them. That to my mind is another reason for doing the HLTA training even if it doesn't seem useful at the moment - there will almost certainly come a time when the opportunites to train start to dry up.
     
  17. Just wanted to add to post 6
    The Foundation degree is a level 5 qualification, which you can top up to a full degree(Level 6).
    The HLTA is equal to Level 4, and as another poster has said it is a status.
    The HLTA's in our school (primary), all obtained their status via the short 3 months route (they are all either experienced TA's or NN's) The NN's opted to remain as NN due to single status as they would be on less money as a HLTA due to only being paid for term-time.
    Rabbity have you thought about becoming a learning mentor at a primary school? I have noticed in my local authority that there has been an increase in this type of job. Good luck with whatever you decide to do
     
  18. Curly - in my area Learning Mentors earn less than HLTA - god knows why because as far as I can see the jobs are pretty much the same standard/difficulty.
     
  19. Ophelia, I've heard through the grape vine that all mentors will in the future be expected to do some form of training. I don't know if that means NVQ or the learning support foundation degree. At the moment I'd certainly advise anyone to do as much training as possible to give themselves the best possible chance when the new national pay scale is sorted out.
     
  20. Again, thanks to one and all who have replied.

    The NVQ in Learning Mentoring sounds really interesting, I will try and find out about that.

    My local authority is pretty useless with training and so is my school, but if I can get some info I might be able to get onto a course.

    Alternatively, the HLTA does sound like a good thing to do and I will also try to research opportunities in my area.

    I do appreciate your input - was very down last week and felt very demotivated, but better again now thanks to people being positive!!
     

Share This Page