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New HLTA in Primary - any advice?!

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by LizzieBennet, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. Hi,
    I have just started as a HLTA and, as a qualified teacher who has kind of rejected the teacher life of ridiculous hours, stress and no weekends etc. , am hoping that this job will give me the best of both worlds - all be it for half the salary!
    While I'm honestly happy to cover PPA lessons and am enjoying this, I'm a tad concerned that I'm deluding myself and I will gradually end up being responsible for every bit of teaching that goes on in the school! So I wondered what experiences others have had as HLTAs in Primary and if anyone can offer advice on keeping the boundaries clear - whilst not being inflexible and unhelpful.
    Also, do you think it's worth keeping up my teaching union representation, or am I better off going with a TA union?
  2. helpfulfriend

    helpfulfriend New commenter

    Union first I suppose it depends if you are considering going back to teaching at all. You could join a union that allows both teachers and t.a.'s in.
    As for your role it depends what is in your job description, you state you are covering ppa, which I'm assuming you are planning as well as delivering. I'm excpected to plan, teach and assess in certain subjects but if I cover a teacher for courses they supply the planning. if they are ill I cover but often have to 'wing' the teaching unless they go off in the middle of the week when planning is available.
    I fail to see how you will become responsible for every bit of teaching, have you told all the staff you are a qualified teacher? I wouldn't personally but it shouldn't make much difference, you are not paid as a teacher so if you are asked to take a class for more than a couple of days to cover illness the school is on dodgy ground.
    Enjoy the post -
  3. I suspect that a TA union is going to be cheaper and will have a better understanding of the pay and conditions of support staff. Additionally some 'issues' like Single Status will be specific to the TA role whilst others may be specific to teachers. You could in theory find yourself going out on strike for Teacher's pay and conditions when you are not in that role. Once you have decided that the TA role is for you and that you will not be returning to teaching I would be thinking about moving unions.
    The role of a HLTA is very specific to the school that they work in. Some HLTAs are used exclusively for PPA cover whilst others take on particular curriculum support roles. I would have a very early conversation with your Headteacher to find out the specifics of your role. By the sound of it you have been given a manageable amount of teaching. Just make sure you say no if you are finding it too much. If your Head has any consideration they will not want to risk you getting overloaded and moving on somewhere else!
    In my HLTA role I cover regular PPA/NQT/SMT time and am expected to plan, mark, assess and write reports for those sessions. If I cover sickness/Training I would expect the work to be planned for me but I would still mark it. In my school I am not however expected to plan Literacy or Numeracy but I will teach it for short term cover.
    I have responsibility for mentoring/supporting the TAs in my school. I run training sessions for TAs, organise regular meetings, deal with any TA issues and am on the interview panel for TA interviews.
    I have other responsibilities but I seem to have acquired them historically (I have been in my school a long time) and have never been able to get rid of them. I regularly work at home to keep on top of things, but obviously not to the level that teachers do.
    Hope you find happiness and fulfilment in your new role! [​IMG]

  4. Many thanks for advice - onwards & upwards!
  5. Sorry LizzieBennet to be so nosy - but as it's an anonymous forum I was hoping you could answer a question that would in everyday life be deemed damned rude! What is your annual salary as an HLTA - you say it's half of your teacher's salary but could you tell me roughly, as I've sometimes considered doing this but as everything is pro-rata it's difficult to work out exactly what you are getting. Would £15k be about right that you actually receive?

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