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My daughter is being taught by a TA !

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

  1. Surely the child who needs extra support is the very one who would benefit from proper teaching.I don't think sticking the bottom 6 kids in a glorified cupboard with a TA is the answer.

    Of course is frees up the teacher to squeeze out those precious level 4 s from the rest of the class.
  2. Admin Princess

    Admin Princess Occasional commenter

    "Children should be taught by qualified teachers, who have the intellect and training to teach a whole class" To borrow a phrase from Catherine Tate's 'Gran' character, "what a F*CKING liberty"!

    Please, Ivy, enlighten us with more words of wisdom - define 'intellect' in the context in which you've used it.
  3. supplybychoice

    supplybychoice New commenter

    My daughter is not getting one-to-one support.

    It is the HTLA that is on her own with a full class, not my daughter !
  4. beameup

    beameup New commenter

    Ivy2 says "....And even if they have degrees, that's not enough as anyone who has been through a PGCE or GTP will know. You have to be trained and prove that you can meet the standards."

    How much does this training differ from NVQ3 Teaching Assistants Course, for instance, or HLTA training? Apart from possibly the length of time involved. Not being flippant, genuine question.

  5. Beamup...have just found a site which details the NVQ. Level 3 certificate - and you do not need any qualifications to get this!!!!!


    Of course, you would have to have a degree to do the PGCE!

    Not saying that qualifications are everything, but I would not want my two daughters "taught" by someone who did not have ANY ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS!!!
  6. AP - look it up in a dictionary. It's a big book where you look up the meaning of words you don;t understand. There will be one at school if you don;t have one at home.

  7. Admin Princess

    Admin Princess Occasional commenter

    In other words, you made a silly comment that you can't justify. That's fine, we all make mistakes. (By the way, the apostrophe key on your keyboard is the one to right of that which you were using in "don;t".)
  8. Why not look up the HLTA standards that have to be met? They are 60% of what you have to do for QTS.

    Surely it is worth the effort - if you are interested. They are on the TDA site.
  9. ... and for HLTA you do need GCSE maths and english, just as you do if you wanted to be a teacher.
  10. I'll post this again - it seems to be the same old argument getting rehashed all the time...

    Assistants get poor deal
    Sara Bubb
    Published: 17 September 2004

    The higher level teaching assistants qualification is too demanding, argues Sara Bubb
    At last, teaching assistants, the unsung heroes of the classroom, have been given a career structure. But is it one they deserve? The new higher level teaching assistant (HLTA) status is open to those who have a GCSE pass in English and maths or the equivalent. They then have to be assessed on new higher level standards - none of the established courses or qualifications are acceptable. They have to meet 31 criteria, organised in three sections, similar to those for qualified teacher status: the first covers professional values and practice; the second is on knowledge and understanding; and the third is for teaching and learning activities.
    These are tough, there's a lot of them, and they include several components. For instance, in the first section, assistants must "Ihave high expectations of all pupils; respect their social, cultural, linguistic, religious and ethnic backgrounds; and (be) committed to raising their educational achievement". How do they prove those? What if one component is missing?
    In working with individuals, groups and whole classes, they have to "demonstrate skills in planning, monitoring, assessment and class management". But, in many schools, planning and assessing are the teacher's role. Assistants are rarely on their own with a whole class - covering classes is an intended roles of the new higher assistants, not of the less qualified ones.
    So, what are they to write about? The five minutes they were left in charge of the class watching a video while the teacher nipped out? Thus in the third section - "They advance pupils' learning in a range of classroom settings, including working with individuals, small groups and whole classes where the assigned teacher is not present" - becomes a significant challenge. Advancing pupils' learning is a reasonable expectation, but it isn't one of the standards for trainee or newly qualified teachers.
    The Teacher Training Agency's (TTA) handbook explains the standards further, but there is little indication of what is good enough. I'm reminded of what Colin Richards wrote about qualified teacher status in a letter to The TES in 2000: "The standards represent an impossible set of demands which properly exemplified would need the omnicompetence of Leonardo da Vinci, the diplomatic expertise of Kofi Annan, the histrionic skills of Julie Walters, the grim determination of Alex Ferguson, and the saintliness of Mother Teresa, coupled with the omniscience of God."
    Surprisingly, higher level teaching assistants are not being assessed through classroom observation. Instead, there are four written tasks to show they are meeting all 31 standards. They have to write about specific lessons and incidents with an individual, group and whole class. This is followed by a half-day visit to the school by an assessor, who reviews the candidate's evidence and discusses it with them. They meet the head and a teacher colleague.
    Mary Jones, a special needs assistant at Langley Park boys' school in Bromley, Kent, can't see why anyone would want to apply: "If you're going to put all that effort in, you may as well train to be a teacher."
    Assessors aren't allowed to watch the assistant in action, although most are used to being observed. Jill Staley, director of the support staff development group at the TTA says: "Observation in school by an external assessor would necessarily only provide a snapshot of a candidate's work, may not take place on a typical working day, and would be unlikely to provide the candidate with opportunities to demonstrate all the standards."
    Yet with the assessments for QTS, induction and advanced skills teachers, a key component is observation.
    Teaching assistants' contracts are appalling - most are only paid by the hour (ranging from £5.50 to £7.50) and not for holidays. Even putting in all this work to become a higher level teaching assistant doesn't automatically mean being on a higher salary scale.
    What were the unions doing allowing this? Unison supports the assessment process, considering it "transparent" and a fair way to distinguish the higher level from the teaching assistants. Officials say that the workforce agreement gives teaching assistants more "status". This has vexed many on The TES online teaching assistant forum. One writes: "The very title higher level teaching assistant instantly devalues bog-standard ordinary ones! I don't want 'status' as a poxy baby-minder (sorry, 'cover supervisor') or half-baked teacher (sorry, HLTA). I would just like some recognition for the unique job that hundreds of us do, and to not be devalued because we only work in class and not IN FRONT of a class."
  11. ... and before anyone comments about assessors not seeing TA in action - that is why the assessor interviews the Head teacher, the teacher and the SENCo as they are the people who do see HLTAs in action every day and they comment on peformance. Fair I would say, as they are not relying on one performance on one day for you to be judged by.
  12. ukred

    ukred New commenter

    TAs...if you want to teach and be paid as teachers...DO THE TRAINING!!!!!

    I would go as far as organising the other parents into a protest supplybychoice. Too many Heads, normally in underfunded schools, are costcutting by using underqualified staff.
  13. LSA, HLTA, TA is a different job to teacher. Not everyone wants whole classes. Unfortunately, your unions have agreed to this ppa cover situation and as we are on the lowest level of hierarchy in the school, on yearly contracts, we have to do as we are told! Including taking occasional whole classes as this has now been put into our job descriptions. If not, we can be out of a job. You are protesting on the wrong forum - why not go over to the school managers forum and protest there.
  14. and by the way ... I completely agree that your daughter should be taught by a qualified teacher.
  15. before you jump on me I'll qualify that comment - I agree she should have a qualified teacher because it is a core subject over a prolonged period of time. What I disagree with is the attack on HLTAs not being able to handle occasional whole class cover, by people who have not researched the process of gaining the status.

  16. Well said, UK-Red!

  17. Posted by: Admin Princess
    "(By the way, the apostrophe key on your keyboard is the one to right of that which you were using in "don;t".)"

    WHY, when people are involved in a sensible debate do you feel the need to comment on a typo?

    What is the point of that? Does it make you feel better in some way, or did you just forget what you wanted to say?

  18. cor dear ...... a daughter being taught by a TA ...

    has anybody informed Ms Ruth.K ...... I'm sure she will publish a "white paper" on this and call it "no more teaching allowed bt TAs" ......
    that should help her keep her job !!

    and all in the name of "peace" ......

  19. Admin Princess

    Admin Princess Occasional commenter

    a.little.black.rose - I think if you re-read Ivy's response to my earlier query, you may wish to reconsider your comment concerning "sensible debate". Her/His reply was obviously meant as an insult; if you're going to give it out, surely you have to be prepared to take it in return? And aren't you guilty of perpetuating my 'bad' behaviour by highlighting it? If it offends you - ignore it!
  20. beameup

    beameup New commenter

    91 | Posted by: ukred at 04 Feb 2006 18:12
    TAs...if you want to teach and be paid as teachers...DO THE TRAINING!!!!!

    I'll repeat my previous question as I think it was misunderstood. Assuming the TA has a degree, how does the PGCE differ from that of NVQ3 or HLTA training, apart from length?

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