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Just doesn't add up in my opinion!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Waterfin, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Waterfin

    Waterfin New commenter

    Today we sat looking through the 20 action points that the minister (Wales...can't remember his name) wants implemented in education.
    One was that they are looking at more rigorously ensuring that teachers have sufficient numeracy and literacy skills by testing them
    Another was that they are looking at making the route into teaching a masters only route. Acquire a degree first, then undertake a two years master to receive your teaching qualification.
    This is at the same time that classroom assistants are recruited from parent helpers (not in itself a problem, but not good if no training then follows to help them learn to do their job really well)...
    ...And at a time when many classes are not taught by teachers at all when supply is required (or PPA cover in my school's case on a weekly basis)
    As said in the title...doesn't add up in my opinion.
  2. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    In one sense it does not add up, but in another it does. Government can decide how a teacher qualifies, but they cannot decide how a school spends its budget. As long as a school complies with relevant legislation in the deployment of staff with and without QTS, they can employ whoever they like as TAs.
    The bizarre thing is why a school would recruit from parent helpers only ........ I would have thought that if a part-time TA post was properly job-specced and advertised one would get a field including some pretty good applicants, not just parent helpers (of course some of those might be extremely good too). There should be a lot of applicants at the moment too I would have thought.
    I think perhaps many teachers are not that confident working with a TA so maybe they prefer to work with the humble volunteer turned into a paid worker, than maybe a retired teacher looking for some rewarding classroom work.
  3. I disagree with you Mystery10 - a classroom teacher has NO say in who is appointed as TA - the headteacher decides that and they go for unqualified, inexperienced parent helpers because they are cheap and they want a job that fits in with their childcare. I am not doing down parent helper/TAs - they can be wonderful. You are however very unlikely to gte a good field of candidates from advertising as the wages are just dreadful.
    Your comment that teachers are not confident working with a TA is uninformed. Most teachers put a lot of hard work into working well with their TA and into training them on the job. Many TAs do not have confidence in their literacy and numeracy ability and teachers are only too aware than when they're teaching the class they are often teaching the TA too and I think they do an amazing job.
  4. Waterfin

    Waterfin New commenter

    The TA's in our school were def advertised and appointed because they were the best candidate on the day. They do an amazing job and I would trust my children with them in a heartbeat.
    In my daughter's school, I have watched many TA's/classroom assistants be recruited because they initially helped out in the school, or were a MDSA and in the right place at the right time when someone was needed in an emergency or when a new position opened up. They did know the school from their time there in an additional capacity which I imagine goes in their favour at interview.
  5. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Well maybe it just depends on the local job market, but the competition round here for TA work is high, and I know several people who have been looking round here for a long time. And they definitely would not need help with numeracy from the teacher.
    I'm glad that teachers are mostly happy working with TAs and that it's a partnership that works well. Maybe the schools I have volunteered in round here are atypical. I hope so!!

  6. So, the recruitment model is to train at least five years to qualify as a teacher, run up huge debts, then find only a fraction of trained teachers find jobs, which have been displaced by unqualified teachers.
    I did a masters in Ed, well into my career, O.U route, whilst teaching full time, I would recommend having classroom experience first, but the fashion is a paper chase route. When everyone has a Masters, that will be devalued in time.

  7. Whilst it certainly seems to be the case that the government want to
    make the route into teaching more rigourous it is not a good time to
    become a teaching assistant either. TAs are being laid off as it is an
    easy saving, there are few schools recruiting new TAs and with the
    scrapping of our paybody our already woefully low wages are being
    reduced. Furthermore, for those of us who wished to develop our skills,
    the funding for any training courses has stopped.
    I volunteered
    at my children's school and than applied for a vacancy when it arose. I
    may be a mum but I also have good academic qualifications. I'm sure things differ from school to school but many recent appointments at my school have been young people taking foundation degrees who want to get classroom experience. This may not be true everywhere, but in my school it is not the case that TAs are the 'mums army'. We are very professional and do an excellent job supporting our class teachers. There are hard times ahead for all education professionals,
    irrespective of our role. We all need to be supportive of each other.

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