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NUT strike- TAs covering

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by kazzabuds, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. All teachers at our primary school are in NUT and striking next week. Without consultation with TAs or teachers, the head has decided to keep the school open for pupils by running a fun day supervised by herself and TAs. My interpretation of Unison advice is that TAs should not be doing this. Would appreciate any comments.
  2. I guess she agreed with the letter from Michael Gove :( Phone Unison.
  3. Have emailed local branch of Unison and will phone on Monday. Is anyone else in similar situation?
  4. We have 2 teachers on strike, both classes closed as TA's are not allowed to cover (sort of defeats the object if we do)
  5. I agree. I feel we would be acting outside our normal duties but our head is very difficult to convince. I am hoping Unison will offer clear advice with which I can convince all the other TAs to join me in refusing.
  6. Good luck, we are lucky, our Head is pretty spot on when it comes to what is legally right and whats not
  7. In our school we have a very similar situation to
    We have two teachers who are not part of the striking unions, so working on 30th, as usual. Our HT has sent all parents a letter asking them to indicate which children will be coming into school that day, due to parental 'work commitments' She has told us the school will close if too many parents indicate a 'need' to send their children in! Our HT has plans to run a 'fun day' for the children that come in!!
    Can anyone give me any advice on how many children we can have in school before it becomes a cas of us T.A.'s 'supervising' and maybe being used as 'cover' for teachers.
    I should point out that we have not been asked to work any extra hours. Normally we would all be based in a classroom or taking small groups/individuals for support work in the mornings.
    Thanks for any advice given.
  8. I am a TA in same situation and I think that as the Teaching Assistant my role is to go in and support the children as normal - if I were the teacher I would support my union and colleagues and strike.
    It is important here to remember that the teachers argument is with the Government and not their colleagues and it would be wrong to undermine the Teaching Assistants usual role within the daily running of the school. Personally, I will be working in the role I usually work - whether it be 1-1, small groups or whole class (as we would normally be expected by teachers and management to cover ppa, illness etc).
    At the end of the day, It is a decision for each individual, do what is right for you and remember this could be an ongoing dispute not a one off!
    Good luck, hope all goes ok.
  9. We have 2 out of 7 classes in on that day and our HT has asked us TA's to tidy up that day if we're not with a class that's in!!
  10. It would be impossible for me to 'support the children as normal' as normally I would be working in a classroom under the direction of a teacher. This teacher will be on strike on the day. The only teacher in the whole school will be the head. This is not the same as covering ppa or illness. The teachers are my colleagues and I do not feel it is right to use me and the other TAs to minimise the impact of their industrial action.
  11. "The teachers are my colleagues and I do not feel it is right to use me and the other TAs to minimise the impact of their industrial action". I understand what you are saying here, and as I said it's down to the individual, I work independently in my own room and I can continue in my role and still support my striking colleagues and up to now TA's have not been called out on strike by my union so I will continue to work. I think the difference here is that I don't feel that I am being used, I am performing the duties I was employed to do.
  12. Sounds like your role is very different to mine. I can see how you could work as normal with no problem. I have every intention of working on the day of the strike. I'm just not happy to be used(and in my case I think that is the right word) as a means of frustrating NUT action. It's not as if we'll be providing the pupils with education on that day. The 'fun day' is really just a child-minding exercise.
  13. That's what I thought. You are being used as babysitters. Do any of your colleagues feel the same?
  14. Other TAs are not happy with the arrangements but are uncertain about their position in resisting. The head is very persuasive in convincing them they are not acting outside their expected duties and they find it difficult to put up any opposition.
  15. In general (as far as I'm aware), TAs should not be asked/required to teach without being paid as an UQT to do so... however, as with most things, some schools get away with doing it. TAs in my school are used to cover ALL PPA sessions without extra pat... we just have 2 TAs per class being covered. So as we all do a days worth of teaching between every 2 of us each week, I can see this solution being used in our school too. =S

    But it is personal preference/your choice and union choice as to how you decide to deal with it.
  16. Teachers are not timetabled to teach during their PPA time and so PPA time is not cover - that is the Dept for Education definition. So when TAs have to "teach" whole classes during such PPA time what happens to the small groups of pupils who they would normally be helping? Aren't they being denied the extra help they need?
  17. Took me several hours today (luckily my day off) to speak to anyone at my local branch of Unison who could give me anything approaching clear advice and even now I feel too much is left to my personal judgement- not what you want in this kind of situation. The upshot is that we can help to supervise the Head's proposed 'fun day'. Much depended on whether we had ever assisted at anything similar before- who hasn't sat in at the end of term while they watched a DVD etc? Head has to do a full risk assessment and be present at all times throughout the day. TAs are not to take classes in classroom situation for anything resembling teaching. TAs are to express their discomfort if asked to do anything they feel is outside their roles! Personally can't see how we can keep whole school, 170 children, together all day.
  18. So the HT has to be physically present to supervise the TAs while the TAs supervise the pupils?
    Strange how qualified teachers are not required to be physically present while TAs cover whole classes in the absence of a teacher or during PPA time for the rest of the year.
  19. HT has to be there or it ceases being supervision on the part of the TAs and would then definitely be a case of taking over the duties of the striking teachers. To be honest, much of the advice I have been given by Unison seems to suggest that if you have ever done anything in the past, even out of goodwill, it can become a requirement of you in the future. Sounds like a good case for refusing to do anything not in your job description, although that would go against the grain with me and with most other TAs I know.
  20. Our school is closed to pupils but all support staff have to go in. If anyone decides to ring in sick for the day they have to have a doctors certificate and are not allowed to self-cert. We will not be paid unless we attend work for the whole day.

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