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Should TAs cover PPA?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by redhed52, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. Hi, I work as a TA in a small primary school (less than 60 pupils) during the teachers PPA - which they all take at the same time leaving one part time NQT and non teaching head to cover - there are not enough teachers left to cover our three classrooms so myself and another TA teach music on that afternoon. I don't have a problem delivering the lesson as there are two of us in the classroom and we work from planned lessons so no extra work to do. But, recently the Head warned us that if ofsted came in a teacher would be asked to take music instead of us TA's. Does this mean we shouldn't be covering PPA, or teaching music?
     
  2. Hi, I work as a TA in a small primary school (less than 60 pupils) during the teachers PPA - which they all take at the same time leaving one part time NQT and non teaching head to cover - there are not enough teachers left to cover our three classrooms so myself and another TA teach music on that afternoon. I don't have a problem delivering the lesson as there are two of us in the classroom and we work from planned lessons so no extra work to do. But, recently the Head warned us that if ofsted came in a teacher would be asked to take music instead of us TA's. Does this mean we shouldn't be covering PPA, or teaching music?
     
  3. I work in a similiar size school -77 on roll and I cover PPA - I have just done Cover Supervisor/PPA cover course run by county council but I was doing it before and I did PPA cover whilst Ofsted where in - I am not aware of there being a problem with us doing it- I also have a TA to support me when I am doing it - I guess all school are different -perhaps the difference for your situation is that all the teachers take it at the same time - I always have several teachers around the school that I could call on if I needed to
     
  4. I was worried when we were 'Ofstedded' that the PPA sessions I took would be observed by the inspectors, but the HT said that there would be no PPA during Ofsted, the teachers would be in. I don't know if this is the way Ofsted wants it to be, or just our HT.
     
  5. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    Does your head not expect the Inspectors to talk to the pupils? Are they going to be told to lie if they are asked if this is what normally happens?
    I am an HLTA and cover PPA time (lower graded TAs should not be doing it at all, by the way) and carried on as normal during our recent inspection. I was not observed at all, although some of the Inspectors were around the classrooms I was in during PPA.
    Schools should carry on as usual during Ofsted visits - they'll find out if you don't as they not only talk to the children but also parents at the school gates.
     
  6. You are right.

    I was quite dismayed that the HT might try to hide the fact that a level 2 and level 3 TA were covering PPA - the implication being that this isn't the done thing - though it appears I'm not the only TA in this position. You mention lower grade TA's shouldn't be covering PPA at all, is there anywhere I can find this in writing?

    Also, I don't feel comfortable with the collusion. Being expected to cover the PPA and cover up if Ofsted come in. Perhaps the only way to keep everything legitimate is to suggest to the HT that I need the HLTA qualification!
     
  7. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    Absolutely right, redhed!
    You can have a look at the guidelines issued by the Workforce Agreement Monitoring Group regarding PPA cover and how HLTAs should be utilised - it was actually never intended that this role be about covering PPA but that tends to be how it has been used in most schools (there are still some noble exceptions, but they are becoming few and far between) and it was certainly never intended that PPA cover be provided by TAs on level 3 or below as they are not considered qualified to deliver specified work (of course, many of them could do it but that's not the point!)
    Unfortunately these are only guidlelines and not enforcable - however, each LA should have something in writing about who can cover ppa and you need to search for that - if you can't find it have at look at some other LAs and see if you can come up with some good evidence to show your head. You can also have a look at The Education (Specific work and Registration) Regulations 2003 but it is open to interpretation a little and still points people towards individual LA rules.
     
  8. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    But, as you well know, HLTAs are not permitted to be "inexperienced TAs" - this is a rule that appears to be broken more than anything about specified teaching. When HLTA assessement was first introduced it was only supposed to be open to people who had been employed as a level 3 TA for at least two years and who were already working at the level required (and also, people who regularly covered whole classes, even though this was not supposed to happen in those days!)
    Once again you are trying to enforce a rule which doesn't exist - those guidelines clearly say that 'specified work' can be delivered by people who are not qualified teachers and this includes HLTAs. I do understand how much you want this not to be true and I am not unsympathetic to you, but you cannot force the regulations to be different just by posting on lots of tes threads that they are!
     
  9. mollypops23

    mollypops23 New commenter

    Evening,
    Just after some clarification about PPA cover. As a Level 3 Qualified Teaching Assistant, who has just been told that their contract is to be dropped down to a TA1 instead of a TA2, are we legally allowed to cover PPA and claim TA2 pay. Surely if we are only employed as a TA1 then we shouldn't be able to cover the class on our own. Just need your thoughts on this please so that I know where I stand on this matter.
    Many thanks.
    Desperate TA.
     
  10. frustum

    frustum Established commenter

    Although it might be a case of trying to cover up the normal arrangements for PPA cover, might it actually also be about giving the Ofsted inspectors an opportunity to observe the regular teachers? If they are only there for two days, then having a whole afternoon when none of the class teachers are teaching may be problematic. They'll probably also want to talk to the head, so the head might need to swap out of teaching that afternoon. I don't think there's any reason why your lesson shouldn't be observed, but if you and the part-timer account for a quarter of the teaching they see, that's not very balanced. It might be more sense to swap the whole afternoon, though, so that teachers are not observed teaching something they don't normally deliver. Perhaps the part-timer prevents that being an option.
     
  11. galerider123

    galerider123 Occasional commenter

    This is a very old thread now...
     

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