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Qualified teaching working as supply TA

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Leigh2911, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. Leigh2911

    Leigh2911 New commenter

    As the title says I am a teacher and am currently doing supply and am on a long term teaching assistant job in upper ks2. I am hoping someone can help me with my situation.

    I took the post due to needing some work and not being offered much else, I also must point out I am early years trained and did not have much experience in ks2 before this post and would not have taken it if it was a teaching role.
    Since starting at the beginning of term I have been left to teach on numerous occasions, sometimes left with planned work and other times given no prior warning and just left to 'time fill' or try and decide on the spot an activity to do. It has been really challenging not helped by the poor behaviour or the pupils. I had a terrible morning by myself today and was informed in the weekly briefying today I am also pencilled in to cover the class all day Thursday and Friday... I am dreading it!

    As I said before I would never have took the post if it was a teaching post and feel I just can't cope by myself. Should I be left alone with the class this much? Am I being unreasonable if I tell them I am not willing to cover the two days?

    Any help would be great thanks
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    The school are clearly taking advantage of you and your situation. If they want you to teach then you should be paid a higher daily rate. Be polite, but tell them firmly that you are not willing to cover those classes on your own. If they don't like it, tough luck. Tell your agency and keep them what is happening. If the school and agency can't sort it out to your satisfaction then give them a week's notice. It sounds as though you are reliable, so I bet they do something or otherwise they will be without a TA. Don't let these people exploit you since it is clearly what they are doing. The classes would be hard enough for a trained ks2 teacher much less someone just learning about ks2. It is, however, good experience for you as a T A and you could tell them once you have more experience with managing the behaviour and subject base for ks2, you would cover the classes for an enhanced rate.
  3. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Yes, definately tell your agency when you are being to take on a teaching role over a TA role. The school is taking advantage of you and your agency by only paying TA rates.

    Keep a record of how many hours you work in a week in both your TA and teacher roles and pass this on to the agency. They will be happy to charge the school the appropiate rate.
  4. pleasemiss__

    pleasemiss__ Occasional commenter

    Absolutely shocked to read this.
    If you are working as a supply TA you should for no reason at all be expected to perform the duties of a classroom teacher. Please leave as soon as you can. This is unfair and smacks of the blatant disrespect supply staff are faced with. How dare they expect you to be in charge of a whole class.. and even to set work. I'm so angry to read this.
  5. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    There is a contractual issue here too. If your services are through an agency, the school has probably misrepresented themselves to the agency in order to save money. The job description for a TA is very different from a teacher.
    The school is technically in breach of contract.
    Please read the advice thread pinned at the top of the forum. There is an article about misdescription of the role.
    snowyhead and pepper5 like this.
  6. emmalcm1

    emmalcm1 Established commenter

    Not on a long term basis, but I once spent a week as a TA in a primary (I'm secondary really but at the time things were very quiet) and it was quite clear the teacher was trying to take advantage. The agency had sent my CV and she therefore knew my subject and kept trying (as in every day!) to get me to plan/ bring in resources to teach my subject because in her words, I was 'more of an expert than her and the class never do music because she's rubbish at it'. If I understand it correctly, I think TAs in primary can be left to cover the odd lesson? But full days like that or asking you to come up with an activity for a class is out of order as those things are clearly part of a teacher's role.

    I would definitely speak to your agency, they may well not even know what is going on. Agencies have set descriptions of different roles and the school is probably in breech of contract. I'm sure they would prefer to charge for a teacher if that's what the school are using you as. I know it's difficult sometimes to turn work down when it's quiet even if you don't like what a school do (I've been there!) but you have to set some limits or schools will quite happily take full advantage.
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Emma isnright: you have to set boundaries otherwise schools will taken advantage.
  8. Leigh2911

    Leigh2911 New commenter

    I would just like to thank you for all of your replies!
    I did feel that I was been taken advantage of however wasn't sure if I was over reacting, but you all reassured me that I needed to stand up for myself and sort out the situation.
    I rang my agency who also agreed the teaching was not part of my role and advised me to talk to the school and explain the situation. I did this and they apologised explaining it was a misunderstanding and they arranged cover for the lessons I was down to cover.
    Thanks again
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Glad to hear you were able to resolve the situation. It is good experience for you and it may be experience that comes in useful for you later.
  10. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    It's a misconception that is very rarely challenged. All maintained schools in England Wales have a statutory duty to employ teachers with QTS. The STPCD 2015 also states that head teachers have a duty to ensure that classes are taught by teachers. Of course, a head teacher with an eye on the purse strings will happily put a TA in front of a class on a regular basis instead of paying for an expensive supply teacher.
  11. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    And, so will some agencies!
  12. jamtart20

    jamtart20 New commenter

    I would have to disagree with this "misunderstanding".

    Schools and agencies will happily get away with screwing over supply staff if they have the opportunity to do so, purely to save money.

    Ever since starting teaching in 2010/11, I have seen it all - bullying of NQTs by headteachers, teachers paid TLR who do nothing to justify this and a general antipathy towards supply, both by full time teachers and the supply themselves.

    As far as I'm concerned, the education system needs a complete overhaul to do the best for both pupils, staff and taxpayers.

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