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Teaching Assistants taking the strain

Discussion in 'Staff, pupil & parent's wellbeing' started by gabbyfootner, May 7, 2020.

  1. gabbyfootner

    gabbyfootner New commenter

    Currently in our school we have around 10 - 15 key workers children and vulnerable students (out of 1500 students). There is a 3 week rota in which a teacher is required to attend once in 3 weeks for 2 hours. The Teaching Assistants are required to attend 5 full days in the 3 week rota and required to circulate the room and help students with their work whilst the teacher is required to sit at the front of the room and work on their laptop. After 8 weeks of this system the Teaching Assistants (there are only 6 of them available to work) are beginning to feel exposed and unfairly treated. They have also been given online work to do at home which takes up all their remaining hours when they are not in school. They have had to put their own children into school rather than keep them home much more than the other members of staff. Is this the case in other schools?
  2. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    I can't speak for all schools, but for us, the rota is the same for teachers and TAs - one full day every 3 weeks. TAs do have far less to do at home than teachers; some are logging on to support pupils with on-line learning or joining in with class reading blogs. All have been given a list of suggested on-line CPD and there is an expectation that everyone will complete at least a couple of the courses - but it's not onerous.

    It must be very difficult to support students with work while maintaining a social distance of 2m???
    gold19951 and agathamorse like this.
  3. maggie m

    maggie m Lead commenter

    For us (secondary) SLT have been the only one's in as there haven't been many key workers children. I believe TA's have been asked to phone pupils they usually support and are doing this from home. All support staff have been asked to complete online cpd courses they need to do one a week. Our technicians say the courses take about 3 hours each so not too onerous.
    gold19951 and agathamorse like this.
  4. kjled6

    kjled6 New commenter

    At my school the rota is split fairly also I’m TA and I haven’t been told to do anything at home. My class teacher has gone in extra days to do stuff but she didn’t have to.
    gold19951 likes this.
  5. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    This doesn't sound very fair to me. I'm a teacher and I go in as often as the TAs. The business about circulating the room vs working on a laptop sounds odd. Who told you all to do this? I circulate the room when I'm with pupils unless I'm sat with a group. I wouldn't just sit at the front working on a laptop. I do know teachers who would sit at their computer working and expect pupils to get on with it. Are you and your five colleagues in a union? If so, get in touch with them.
  6. gabbyfootner

    gabbyfootner New commenter

    Thanks for all your replies. The teaching assistants have contacted the Union Rep in school who is being really helpful, so hopefully a fairer system which minimises risk to all staff will be put in place.

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