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My daughter is being taught by a TA !

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by supplybychoice, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. Hi

    The fundamental point here is that qualified teachers are the only people that should be allowed to teach full classes. Qualified teachers should have a degree and have gained at least QTS/PGCE.

    I think during these exchanges people tend to forget what gaining QTS involves and what it ensures.

    I have not always been a teacher, but after going through PGCE/QTS it gave me confidence in the education system. I realised how dedicated and competent any person needs to be in order to complete QTS. I mean we are talking about over fourty written lesson observations, two phases of teaching practice thousands of words in university based assignments etc. Hundreds of hours in fact.

    I do know of many excellent, hardworking and dedicated TA's but how do I know that every CS or TA taking full classes are competent to teach if they have not gone through QTS.

    I would not let my child be taught by unqualified QTS staff whatever their skills, ability or qualifications. I dont think many parents outside education would.

    If people have not gained QTS they should not be teaching whole classes.

    This is my viewpoint more as a parent than a teacher.

  2. shake_ya_thang

    shake_ya_thang New commenter

    A Head of Department and a Head of Faculty at my school haven't got QTS.....
  3. Hi

    When did they qualify. Bet you it was over 10 to 15 years ago. You miss my point anyway what I am saying is QTS at least guarantees a certain level of competence. As I said, as a parent I expect my child to be taught by a qualified teacher.

    I am not going to go into greater detail and argue back and forth because there is no need to. I dont mean to offend but how complicated can it be, if you want to teach whole classes, qualify as a teacher.
  4. ukred

    ukred New commenter

    I agree Alfie.

    Most people on here know this by now but when I left FE I was told I would not be let loose near a class of children until I had QTS. I had years of GCSE/basic skills/ keyskills/ SEN, EBD, young offenders etc. teaching and a PGCE(fe) which takes two years to get.

    All of a sudden, that rule is dropped?????!!!! Just because it is so much cheaper. Well, I am sorry BUT not with my children and grandchildren! The sooner more parents get wise to this the better.
  5. shake_ya_thang

    shake_ya_thang New commenter

    Ukred, I truely think that you were misled regarding the need for QTS to work in schools, to say that you 'would not be let loose near a class of children until (you) had QTS' is a bit strong. As long as you have relevant experience and educated to degree level, there is no reason why you can't teach in a Secondary school. Ok, so the pay isn't as much as a teacher with QTS, but it is still a significant sum.
  6. TAs have loads of training and experience? Experienced and trained TAs might, but when I was one, most of them only stopped a year as a stepping stone to something better paid, and the training..... half a day's counsel of perfection or egg-sucking if you're lucky. If your LEA and school are better, then good, but most of the ones I've worked in have been as I describe.
  7. heartfelt

    heartfelt New commenter

    I'm not sure whether this arranement is temporary or permanent. If it is not a one off, then I think it raises a very worrying prospect. I think the government only categoricaly states that onl a headteacher has to be a qualified teacher. When the budget bites the school might as well have a maths specialst ta for maths, English ta for English etc., there are plenty of tas who would like the full teacher role.

    I would raise concerns with the headteacher, governors and request the school make its staffing qualifications policy clear and public. I think the government and unions like NASUWT are inroducing tas as class teacers by stealth.

    There are many schools which for a few years have made tas the principle teacher for certain groups of children within the class, especially "booster" Y6 work. Personally I think across the ages this can account for what I sometimes see as some very low standards in literacy and numeracy amongst the lower ability bands. I don't think "small groups" is a standards panacea, more the expertise of the teacher that makes the difference.

  8. ukred

    ukred New commenter

    SYT, absolute truth!!! I was told this by the TTA. I felt a bit miffed at the time but I had a'baptism of fire' to gain QTS, (the school, the area, the kids, the QTS standards, the paperwork, the moderators!!!!!!) so I look on it as good experience.
  9. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    One of our year groups sets for maths. 2 classes are divided into 3, and a TA takes one group of needy children. They follow NLS objectives from a lower year group. The work set has been overseen by 2 teachers. The kids do really well as they actually get the targetted support they need (many have numeracy as part of their IEP). Several children have actually gained so much that the following year, they ended up in the top third of the cohort. Now someone dare argue that that TA is doing a substandard job? - cos from where those kids are sitting, she's done a brilliant one!
  10. UKRED
    How did you come about your use's name?
    Very near near may maidem name Akred
  11. can I ask with out someone shouting as I mean no disrespect, but is it legal to employ a TA even temporarily to stand in for teachers? At a school near me A TA is standing in for a teacher regularly not just PPA time but courses, jury service (2 weeks) and teaching in the reception class with a TA sent to cover for her. Im not sure of her other quals but know she has nursery nurse quals etc and is highly experienced.The do not use supply teachers in that class ever.
    Is this legal? What rights as parents do you have to insist on qualified staff, after all student teachers are often used for weeks at a time with no parental views sought?
    I promise this is not a dig at TAs.
  12. vod


    thanks to read write inc my children get all their English taught by a TA
  13. supplybychoice

    supplybychoice New commenter

    I have sent the following letter to the school:

    Dear Mr X,

    I understand that Mrs Y has started teaching my daughter mathematics since last week.

    According to the Parents? Prospectus, Mrs Y is employed as a Classroom Support Assistant and a Lunchtime Supervisory Assistant.

    Can you please inform me what qualifications Mrs Y has in teaching and in mathematics and for how long you expect Mrs Y to be teaching my daughter.

  14. Well done, SBC!

    This is a professional and non-confrontational letter. You are seeking information.
    Nothing more.

  15. Bikerchic,

    I am a TA. I have a good level of general education (including good maths and English O Level grades) and a degree in MFL.

    I attended a training course last year and gained Higher Level TA status, during which the issue of TAs taking whole classes was much discussed.

    The legal position is that ANYBODY that the head teacher deems 'responsible' can now take whole classes. This is specifically stated in Workforce Remodelling documentation.

    My HT decided that any TA with NVQ3 level qualification would be 'suitable' to cover PPA time. As a result we have a TA who has only ever worked in Early Years taking history, geography and DT in KS2, and a football coach taking games, including netball!

    I was asked to take Y6 for one morning a week, which would have included literacy and numeracy, to cover NQT time. I refused; that's a teachers job.

    This is a scandalous, money saving excercise, nothing more.

    I just wish that more parents were aware and asked appropriate questions. Good for you, Supplybychoice! Let us know what response you get!

  16. PS.

    As an aside, it is not possible to make generalisations about TAs. All sorts of people are employed in this type of work, with massively different levels of experience and qualifications. Very many do not have basic English and maths qualifications, although they may well have vocational qualifications such as NVQs. Others, such as me, have no vocational qualifications, but good academic qualifications. In my view, that certainly doesn't qualify me to teach maths! Personally, if I were making government policy (ha ha!) I would make GCSE Maths and English compulsory for TAs, but that's another issue, entirely....
  17. Hello

    what does take classes actually mean? I get confused by cover and Htla responsibilities as we also have TAs paid as level 4 TAs because they are teaching but not holding HTLA status. Can the remodeling allow TAs to teach instead of a supply teacher for example if a class teacher is likely to be absent for more than a few days or perhaps for an extended period due to illness/bereavement etc? What is the longest a TA would hold the position of "teacher"? In fairness to parents many dont question who is in the classroom or even see who is in the classroom unless the children state and younger children do not always make the distinction, everyone is "miss" or a teacher (again no disrespect to any party for any role, in my son's setting they have ex teachers who work as TAs who choose not to work as teachers, so I am aware of at least their understanding in how to teach)Im still no wiser about how long cover can go on for, one day a week seems the norm for PPA etc but what about the rest?
  18. They're called Cover supervisors in Secondary and have meant that many supply teachers have not been able to get enough work to survive.
  19. ukred

    ukred New commenter

    SUPERKINGS, What an interesting and unusual name!!!! No, my user name origin is more boring, I'm afraid. I was always called 'Red' at college. When I used this name on a couple of international sites I had to add 'UK' because there were so many reds!!!!

    Cornflake, Good results are great but that would not be the case all over the country. I would not be willing to sacrifice a whole generation of kids on an experiment whether TAs could teach better maths than teachers. Why should we??? There are qualified teachers out there who are unemployed because of a cheaper, untried option.

    It is impossible to generalise with TAs because there is not really a set criteria for recruitment. However, if the government get their way, all the unemployed teachers would get Ta, CS jobs...and they will have cheap, qualified labour anyway!
  20. supplybychoice

    supplybychoice New commenter

    Reply from the school:

    "Mrs x has recently qualified as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant and as such is able to teach Mathematics from the planning provided by the Maths department.

    Having observed Mrs x I can vouch for her abilities and am confident that the children in her charge will be taught well and make progress."

    Note that there is no mention of how long she will be teaching my daughter.

    What would you do next if you were me ?

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