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'The only sticking plaster holding schools together? The army of teaching assistants'

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Colin Harris writes in Tes about the way teaching assistants are increasingly being relied upon in schools to fill the gaps in resources as the education system faces the dual pressures of funding cuts and the recruitment crisis.

    ‘We now have more than 380,000 teaching assistants in our schools, a staggering number when you consider that in the year 2000 we had 79,000: nearly a fourfold increase. In fact, I am that old when I could remember a time when in our school of nearly 400 children we had just three.

    Teaching assistants are the backbone and heartbeat of every school in the UK. However, what is now expected of them is far beyond the "role profile" each of them signed.

    A recent study of their role in schools showed that more than a third took over the place of the teacher when absent, many for a considerable length of time. And all interviewed felt they taught more this year than last year.

    It is fair to say that too many schools have used TAs as a cheap and easy way to solve budget and recruitment problems.’


    Do you agree with Colin, are teaching assistants being used as a cheap way to solve budget and recruitment problems?
  2. BetterNow

    BetterNow Occasional commenter

    Of course, why pay a teacher (even at m1 or below) when you can force/ demand/ 'ask' a TA to do the job for far less pay.

    ETA 'Direct' that was the word I was looking for. They can direct the TAs to teach...o_O

    On top of everything else that they ask them to do that didn't used to be in the job description... on rock bottom pay... hmm

    Teaching is bad now, but at least the pay packet is better.
  3. tonymars

    tonymars Occasional commenter

    I can well beleive this Rosaline. But hang on, don't teachers have to have QTS, apart from academies and free schools? And surely TAs don't.:confused:
  4. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    But @tonymars, aren't there a vast number of secondary academies now? And the number of primaries is still increasing. That's an awful lot of schools.
  5. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

  6. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Many of this 'army of TAs' do have QTS, because this is the only school-based work that they can get. Sometimes, you have the bizarre situation in which more of the TAs in a department have QTs, than the 'teachers'.
  7. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    The number of TAs is going down in many schools - budgets are so tight there isn't enough money to pay them.

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