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Legal position of HLTAs teaching class?

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by BriarBabe22, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. BriarBabe22

    BriarBabe22 New commenter

    Sorry to 'hijack' this forum but I'm hoping you will be able to answer a question for me please.
    I received a letter home from my son's school today saying that his teacher is leaving at Easter, and due to last year's disruption (teacher went on maternity leave at Easter then had cover teacher for summer term) 2 of the school's HLTAs will be teaching his class for the whole of the summer term. I used to work at the school as a TA and these ladies are brilliant in the classroom, but I am wondering what the legal position regarding their teaching is? I was under the impression that HLTAs can only teach if they are following plans drawn up by a qualified teacher. There is another teacher in the year group but this is only her 3rd year of teaching and as far as I know the HLTAs will be planning their own lessons.
    To give a bit more background, which may explain my 'anxiety', I am currently a PGCE student and working really hard to get QTS, so from that point of view am also a bit peeved that the HLTAs who have not had to go through formal teacher training will be allowed to teach. I don't know whether or not to say anything to the HT - I don't want to **** her off as she's one of my referees!! Bit of a tricky situation! On the other hand, I know the HLTAs will do a fine job, so maybe I should just not worry?
    What do you think? [​IMG]
  2. Tough one. I'm not sure how legal or illegal it is but if you are personally happy with the HLTA's work then it's not worth ruining your chances of a good reference.
    You could though get another parent to raise your concern for you though?!!
    Also, HLTA's get paid significantly less than you will as an NQT. Think of your PGCE as an opportunity to earn more money!!
  3. lily_the_pink

    lily_the_pink New commenter

    Sorry, but I think you're overreacting.

    Why cause more trouble, when your son has obviously had a lot of upheaval in his classroom recently? I assume the HLTAs are known to the class, and you already said that they're brilliant in the classroom. I'm sure the HT won't leave the HLTAs to fend for themselves, and there's nothing "only" about 3 years' classroom experience.

    If you do say something, the HT will doubtless be ******. It's like saying you know better than her. I'm sure she's capable of making executive decisions in her own school, and you're planning on walking in and questioning that, whilst expecting her to write you a good reference. Could backfire. It would definitely backfire if that had been done to my current head. I'd be annoyed if you did that. The HLTAs would hear back from it too, and it would all turn into a nasty situation. Also, HLTAs work really hard, it might not be formal teacher training but they are more than capable of doing their jobs. Don't put that down. And no, I'm not an HLTA - I'm a teacher too.
    creamegg1 likes this.
  4. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Because her son has the moral right to be taught by a fully qualified teacher.
    In my limited experience they can and do.
    No it it isn't...
    Decisions for which she should be held accountable. Blind following the "wisdom"of a Head should not be expected.
    A good Head should be able to separate out the two things. The OP will be speaking as a parent and not an employee.
    I agree with this.
    Agreed. Which is another reason the Head should not have taken this decision.
    The OP is not questioning this (nor am I).
    They are more than capable of doing their job. Their job, however, is not to replace a fully qualified teacher for such a long period...They are teaching assistants, not teachers.

  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    I thought . . . I thought . . . that you had to be registered with the GTC to be able to teach in a maintained school in England and Wales? The HLTA might be able to register as an instructor unqualified teacher if they give up being a HLTA. . . read below
    GTCE: Who must be registered?
    Full registration: qualified teachers
    Teacher who hold qualified teacher status (QTS) and teach in a maintained school, non-maintained special school or pupil referral unit must be fully registered with the GTC.

    By 'teach' we mean:

    • planning and preparing lessons and courses for pupils
    • delivering lessons to pupils
    • assessing or reporting on the development, progress and attainment of pupils.
    The requirement to register applies to full-time, part-time and supply teachers.

    Provisional registration: trainees
    All trainee teachers starting an initial teacher training programme (ITT) must provisionally register with the GTC within 28 days of starting their course.

    Provisional registration: overseas trained teachers (OTT)
    From 1 September 2009 all OTTs who teach in a maintained school, non-maintained special school or pupil referral unit must be provisional registered with the GTC.

    Definition of an Overseas Trained Teacher
    An OTT is someone who has successfully completed a programme of professional training for teachers in any country outside the UK and who has not been awarded QTS in England. Under regulations, these teachers can be employed as an unqualified teacher for a period of up to four years.

    Provisional registration - instructors
    From 1 September 2009 all instructors who teach in a maintained school, non-maintained special school or pupil referral unit must be provisional registered with the GTC.

    Definition of an instructor (unqualified teachers)
    An instructor is an unqualified teacher who is appointed to carry out ‘specified work’ in a school. Specified work is defined as:

    • Planning and preparing lessons and courses for pupils
    • Delivering lessons to pupils
    • Assessing the development, progress and attainment of pupils
    • reporting on the development, progress and attainment of pupils.
    Instructors are used where no suitable qualified teacher is available for appointment to the post. Higher Level Teaching Assistants, Teaching Assistants and Cover Supervisors are NOT instructors.
    Employer checks
    From 1 September 2009 employers should ensure that their OTTs and instructors are provisionally registered with the GTC.

    The GTC has a free secure online service for local authorities andschools to enable them to check the registration status of qualifiedteachers. From October 2009, this service will also show theregistration status of OTTs and Instructors.

    Seems to me that this is not legal. Wonder if the Chair of Governors has read this . . .
    Best wishes
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    The TES Careers Advice service runs seminars, one-to-one careers and applications advice, one-to-one interview coaching and an application review service.
    I shall be doing Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contributing to the Job Application Seminars and Weekend Workshops over February half term. We shall be looking at application letters, executive summaries and interviews.
    The next Weekend Workshop on applications is on Sunday 23rd January. Contact advice@tes.co.uk for more details on all of these.
    Look forward to seeing you!
  6. hennapen

    hennapen New commenter

    Sounds to me as if some initial fears regarding HLTAs are coming true here. I have been a primary governor and it was something we discussed at length. We agreed that they would not be expected to cover groups for extended periods as in this case. Summer term is an important term and if we expect children to be taught by qualified teachers (which I do) then I firmly believe cover should be brought in - and yes by all means use the HLTAs to ensure continuity for the children.

    It is perhaps worth informing the chair of governors - they may have a suggestions box or similar or you could just write an anonymous letter if you are really worried about any negative response.
  7. <font size="3">Hi TamTam</font>

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