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Unfair treatment? Want to leave :(

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by united10, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. united10

    united10 New commenter


    I will try to keep this concise. I'm a qualified teacher but chose to work as a TA, due to workload/stress.
    I have only been at my school half a term and feel as though I'm being targeted by management. That aside (I don't want to be too specific), I have a few main queries which I would appreciate advice for.

    A member of SMT asked someone to "sneak" into my cupboard to get some books for lessons I cover. This person didn't play along, but I plan, teach and mark to the best of my ability and have no idea why someone would do this. Lack of trust? Looking for something to tell me off for?

    Apparently, due to two "incidents", which in my opinion were non-issues, my behaviour management is of concern and I will be placed on a "support plan". I don't think there is any capability issue and I think they will set me up to fail.

    The language used towards me by the head has, in my opinion, been patronising and demeaning. She once told me off in front of another member of staff. I feel as though I can do nothing right.

    I'm familiar with policies relating to teachers but not TAs. Please could anyone help with capability/disciplinary policies. I'm an NUT member - now NEU of course.

    Finally, if I decide to leave - what is the notice period?

    Not very concise in the end. Sorry! Any help appreciated.
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    You need access to your school's disciplinary policy which should be accessible to you - perhaps in the staff handbook, which is likely to be electronic.
    You also need your contract of employment, or offer letter: this should tell you the notice period.
    united10 likes this.
  3. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Lead commenter

    Hi united
    As a new TA, why are you planning, teaching and marking lessons? Is this in your job description? Did these behaviour incidents take place while you were covering a class?
    Have a good look at your job description; it sounds as though you are definitely being asked to work over and above it. Is there someone you could talk to - your line manager, SENCO or a teacher you get on well with? Nothing you have said implies that capability or disciplinary procedures would be appropriate or needed - after only half a term, you should still be within a probationary period and receiving support and guidance from SLT!
    Contact your union for advice. The usual notice period for TAs is one month.
    united10 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  4. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    It is a poor headteacher who tells their staff off in front of other people.
    Your school should have a behaviour management policy. Have you read it and are you following it? Might be worth checking it out.
    I agree with @sunshineneeded , be wary of them treating you as an underpaid teacher. Only HTLAs should be planning lessons...are you being paid at HTLA rates? Check that the roles and responsibilities in your job description match your pay grade.
    united10 likes this.
  5. united10

    united10 New commenter

    I am a TA3 so I do some PPA cover. I don't mind it at all as it's a lot less than what I've done as a teacher.
    There isn't really a behaviour management policy - it's currently being discussed and in the meantime we've been told to follow our line manager's instructions.
  6. united10

    united10 New commenter

    Apparently it isn't a disciplinary thing as I did ask, but it felt like it was as I was told off as you would tell off a child. I was told it is "informal" and a "support plan". I sound grumpy - apologies!
  7. Wotton

    Wotton Established commenter

    Did you know you would be doing some PPA cover? A level 3 TA is not the same as an HLTA and HLTAs get paid more.
  8. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    @united10 I'm really not sure how they can support you well with behaviour management when they have no considered and official behaviour management policy in school. However, wherever they are up to, I would ask (nicely) for something on paper from your line manager. At least then you will know that you are reading from the same page (literally!).

    As regards feeling that you can do nothing right...just keep referring back to your job description. And keep asking. Even if you had come to this new school as a teacher you would still have had to, to an extent, learn how they did things, their policies and procedures. You have only been there a very short while. I would probably hang on in for a bit just to see how this pans out. You now know that you only have to give a month's notice.

    Having said that, I left a school where the incoming SLT spoke to staff like children sometimes and reprimanded staff in front of children quite often. I think that if I had a sniff of that ever again I might be off before you could say "Go and look online and see what else is about....".

    I imagine in all honestly that they actually would want you to stay very much; just nail that behaviour detail that they want you to do, whatever it is.
  9. united10

    united10 New commenter

    Thanks for your reply.
    I can't be more specific about the supposed behaviour issues, but I really don't think there is an issue - certainly not one that doesn't also exist for others.
    I have worked with less than nice SLT before now too and this led me to leave a permanent teaching post which I enjoyed very much and was good at; I refuse to put myself through the same stress again as I can sense that they are behaving in a similar, if not worse, way.
  10. united10

    united10 New commenter

    Yes I did. That's not really a problem - it's the way I'm being treated that is.
  11. theluckycat

    theluckycat Occasional commenter

    Having been a TA for a number of years and a teacher, I would take a step back and see how things go. Schools can be funny places, and it can be easy to become unsettled and unhappy about perceived unfairness. Given your previous bad experience you might be a bit sensitive to the same thing happening as previously, though I dare say you have a point as well. Await the 'support plan,' and see how it goes, don't jump ship yet, it is probably just a blip, and probably just minor 'teething problems' in a new setting.
    galerider123 likes this.
  12. united10

    united10 New commenter

    Thanks. I hope you are right. I don't have another job to go to yet so I will stick it out until I get one. I think you're right and my previous experience has made me sensitive to such issues, but I think it's also true that the main issue is the same - managers who have forgotten what it is to be human.
    I will contact the union and see how things go. Thank you all for your help.
    galerider123 likes this.

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