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Temporary contracts.

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by mummalush, May 19, 2012.

  1. I am a teaching assistant with a permanent contract to work 11.45 - 3.15pm. I have been working overtime for the last few months to include mornings (so full time) and have really enjoyed it and found it to be very beneficial to my career experience.
    I have now been given two options.
    1) Revert back to afternoons only and lose the extra money and experience I am gaining through assisting with literacy and maths in the mornings (as opposed to only supervising at mealtimes folllowed by topic and social skills/clever hands groups in the afternoon. Or
    2) Take on a full-time temporary contract.
    I have been told I will (on paper) be assigned to a funded child, one of 4 who are coming up from the infant school in the village and that should the child leave the school, I could loss my job.
    I am interested in other's experiences of temporary contracts for funded childen. What are the pros (if any) and cons?
    My efforts to research temporary contracts have proved rather fruitless and I am eager to find out about pay conditions, sickness and pension rights etc. If anyone could point me in the right direction for this I would be most grateful. I would also welcome any other general advice.
  2. dozymare1957

    dozymare1957 Occasional commenter

    I've been employed on a one year contract to work with a specific child. I was happy to take the job because there was nothing else. I believe that most TA positions are now 1 year contracts. I'm feeling a bit vulnerable as the year draws to a close but live in hope that I will be employed again next academic year either with this same child or working with different children (I'm in secondary)
    I do not get paid sick pay but I believe that this is commonplace with TAs. My colleagues with permanent contracts don't get sick pay either. The pension is the same for all of us too and we are all paid each month and not just when we work.
    I think your school has to cover it's back by pointing out to you that you may not have a job if the child leaves but I'm sure they would do everything possible to ensure that you had a job. Realistically, I don't think a permanent contract is much more secure than a temporary one, is it?
    You know what your contract says, see if you can get access to a temporary one and compare them.
  3. picsgirl

    picsgirl New commenter

    I had a temp 1 year contract last year for 1:1 child.

    At the moment I'm on 3 temp contracts with the same school.
    1 day as a SEN TA.
    2 days as admin support
    2 days as a relief TA

    But this only until July. I've asked about Sept but the school won't know until around half term.

    The very few jobs advertised in this area are usually temporary.

    One of the SEN TA's in the school recently had her hours cut because one of the children she worked with left.
  4. tamtams

    tamtams New commenter

    Hi ,4 years ago I started doing 1-1 on a full time temp contract supporting 1 child in year 3, followed this child to year 5 then another Ta took over as school likes to get child used to other adults in preparation for high school. Last September I went back to year 3 again (same school) to support another child 1-1 full time. Head told me he has written to the LEA to state that he wants a permanent contract written up for me, however he has stated that after 2 years on temp contract I would have the same rights as someone on permanent anyway, but I was not convinced of this so he said he will arrange the contract to put my mind at rest. Apparently anyone no matter what LEA they work for the 2 year rule applies.
    I am in the LEA pension and pay just the same as any other full-time Ta give or take few pounds, at our school short term sick pay is paid at the discretion of our head, if he knows you go that extra mile for the school and your time keeping is to his satisfactory then he will have no hesitation to pay you, we had a Ta of for 12 weeks and he paid her full pay.
  5. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    On the subject of contracts. If you give up your permanent post, albeit for a few hours a day, you will be sacrificing your employment protection. There is no reason why your HT can't go for a Variation in Hours, whereby you temporarily increase your work hours for a specified amount of time. That way should you lose your post in the future you will have accrued Employment protection and preserved your Redundancy entitlement. Should you go to Fixed Term contract it will take two years before you have any entitlement to Redundancy. Should your contracts be from 1st Sept to 31st July (end of teaching term) you will never accrue such rights.
    The two year rule as stated in the earlier post, is for Redundancy and although it is the same protection as a permanent employee it is not exactly the same as permanent. The devil is in the detail, what is to say a new HT comes into the school and decides not to keep you, previous goodwill would be of no account.
    The two year rule on Fixed Term Contract is the law of the land, is is not simply the kind gift of a willing HT or LEA.
    I am very uncomfortable with the idea that sick pay is paid at the discretion of the HT, this should be something that is detailed within your contract of employment and is more usually association with length of service.
    Think very carefully before you give up your permanent post. It may be a decision you live to regret.
  6. Hello Olivia,

    I have had a temporary contract as a 1-1 SEN TA for a child, (30 hours per week,) when he left the school my hours were reduced to half. I then supported another child mornings only (as a job share) when he moved to a new year group and a new HT was appointed I lost all hours as the HT only wanted one SEN TA to support the child, not a job share. As I had secured a position for the afternoons at another school I gave up the temporary post so the other half of the job share had a position. As I had worked for the LA for more than two years I was entitled to redundancy even though I still had a job at another school in the same LA.

    I agree that the school should be able to offer a contract of additional hours for your extra hours in the mornings.

    Also if you are assigned to a funded child if he/she moves school your contract will immediately be terminated as notice is given at the start of the contract. (i.e the school does not have to give you one months notice)

    But as a word of warning a new HT can change the whole dynamics of a school and that any goodwill built up with the previous head, no longer has any bearing on job contracts. As the other half of my previous job share has just found out, she no longer has a contract for next year as hers was again only a temporary one year contract with a funded child who is now moving to a new school in September.

    Good luck with what ever you choose.
  7. tamtams

    tamtams New commenter

    Ok now I am starting to panic a little. Do you not think then that my Head is able to request from the LEA that my contract is made permanent. I can see why not as at the moment it is the general 1-1 contract if child leaves etc then contract will cease, however I did receive from the LEA about two months ago that my contract will be ongoing until 2015 but then will be reviewed again then. This is what prompted me to approach my head as it seemed that in 2015
  8. tamtams

    tamtams New commenter

    Continued (don't know what went wrong)
    I would be out of work, so this is when he said to stop you worrying I am going to make you permanent. Oh dear, I am now thinking after reading your post that my Head is not able to do this.
  9. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    It is possible that the letter saying your contract is until 2015 means that you will have one continuous contract, not renewed in the interim. This would mean your contract could end without any Redundancy entitlement within 4 years. Fixed Term contracts can be for a period of up to 4 years and would secure no Employment Protection rights. The Rights come with a contract that has been renewed at least once and last for 2 years or more.
    Ask your HT for a permanent contract if it's on offer.
  10. tamtams

    tamtams New commenter

    Thanks for your reply, this is the third time my contract has been renewed in nearly four years, does that make a difference. I am going to contact HR and find out if my head is true to his word.
  11. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    It does make a difference and I see no reason why you are not permanent. You have already accrued Employment Protection, are entitled not to be Unfairly Dismissed and, should your contract not be renewed, are entitled to a Redundancy payment.
    What I find difficult to understand is why your LEA have sent a letter to you, having been employed for almost 4 years, saying your contract would be reviewed in 2015. As things stand your post should automatically become permanent at 4 years. Provision is made within the regulations for Fixed Term Contracts for permanency at 4 years. Please feel free to quote the following Regulation if you need to.
    The Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 require employers to treat staff on fixed-term contracts no less favourably than comparable permanent staff, and declare that after four years of successive fixed-term contracts such staff are entitled to permanent employment. Although the regulations came into force on 1 October 2002, the European Council Directive (1999/70/EC) that they implement required the government to have put legislation in place by 10 July 2002. The right to permanent employment is counted from this date
    Do speak to your HT about your permanent contract asap for your own peace of mind.
  12. HotPinkCrayola

    HotPinkCrayola New commenter

    Temporary contracts are fine if you make sure you've got a specific start and end date, so you can plan for finishing. I'm currently on a maternity cover which I was lead to believe would be until the end of August but there was no guarantee, and now the lady I'm covering has changed her mind and said she'll be coming back to work TWO WEEKS before the end of the year (and we all know that's just so that she can get the paid holidays and I - the person who has actually worked her butt off for an entire year - will get jacksheet. What makes it even more annoying is that she works mostly with Year 11 who will all have left by then!!).

    For me the pension and sickness pay is exactly the same as it would be for a permanent member of staff, as is the access to paid duty and the holiday entitlement.

    Could you ask about doing the temporary contract as secondment? That way you can take it knowing that should the child leave you still have your old permanent job to go back to.

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