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Whose responsibility - teacher or TA?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by LeftTheBuilding, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. LeftTheBuilding

    LeftTheBuilding Occasional commenter

    I have an issue that I'm not sure how best to tackle.

    Working in y5, mainly supporting a child 1:1, but also working with other children in the same class. My 1:1 is just about able to manage y3 maths, with lots of support and encouragement. The problem I have is this: the class teacher prepares resources and lessons that are accessible to the rest of the class, but are totally inaccessible to my 1:1. The lesson plans (if I see them) make no provision for my 1:1 and I get no chance to prepare/assemble more suitable resources, so I end up having to quickly differentiate "on the hoof" (with variable success). It feels like the teacher has not even thought about my 1:1.

    I want to talk to the teacher, but I'm not sure how to broach the subject, without seeming to tell her how to do her job!

    Advice very welcome.
  2. olunchick

    olunchick Occasional commenter

    I am in a similar position. But willingly so. I come in 40-50 mins before my start time, find out what the class is doing, then scan through many books & internet resourses to find a suitable activity and grab any physical resources/aids that may be needed often having to run around school asking various teachers if they may have what I need. I think the best thing to do is speak to SENCO as to how you both can support the child better.
    Bumptious likes this.
  3. annie2020

    annie2020 New commenter

    The teacher's plan should cover every child in the classroom and include any relevant differentiations, resources etc. My guess is your teacher is happy not to bother since you'll obviously take care of it for them. I personally don't mind filling gaps here and there but it becomes a problem if it turns into my job altogether. I agree to approach the SENCO for a more planned and consistent approach.
    minnie me, Flanks and Bumptious like this.
  4. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    You need to talk to the teacher. Do you generally get on with her? Is she a new teacher? Perhaps she doesn't have a good understanding of the needs of this child? Is she aware they're struggling? Why don't you just have a chat, and say to her that the child is struggling; tell her some of the things they're struggling with, and maybe things they're able to do or enjoy doing. See what happens after that.

    She needs to differentiate, otherwise she's not doing her job, but I'll give her the benefit of the doubt because it's hard to support children with complex needs when you don't fully understand them! If I were that teacher I'd be more than happy to hear what my TA has to say, because TAs generally know the kids and their needs so well. :)
  5. LeftTheBuilding

    LeftTheBuilding Occasional commenter

    This is the sticking point, the missing piece of the jigsaw! My attempts to get this information in advance are generally met with disdain. Although the year 5 team (teachers) gets to meet up for PPA one afternoon a week, it seems that I'm expected to differentiate "on the fly". And not just for one child.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  6. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Bumptious, the teacher is responsible for planning for every child in the class. I know that TAs do often take on much of the responsibility for deciding how they will deliver the plans; how they will achieve the learning outcome and what resources they will use - but the planning should come from the teacher. After all, the teacher will be accountable for that child's progress at the end of the year! Would there be any chance you could attend the PPA meeting for 15 minutes or so? Or would the teacher agree to meet you before or after school? I know how tricky it can be, but if you get nowhere, you may have to have an informal chat with the SENCO - maybe on the lines of "This is the maths learning for this week, but I need some help with how I can best modify it for Freddie."
  7. LeftTheBuilding

    LeftTheBuilding Occasional commenter

    It's during lesson time, so not an option;SLT wouldn't want to set a precedent.

    I'll ask - again. I'm nothing, if not persistent.

    If I knew what was planned for the week, that would be a start. I'm so fed up of being the last to know. Communication, generally, is poor.
  8. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Senior commenter

    This is a common problem in schools and always has been since I first worked in education in 2001. It is even more difficult in secondary school but ultimately it is the teacher's responsibility to differentiate, not yours. You might find it easier to give the 1-1 more accessible work while working at a higher level with the others you work with, multi-tasking as TAs often have to.
    Bumptious likes this.
  9. LeftTheBuilding

    LeftTheBuilding Occasional commenter

    I notice that Teachers' Standards require a teacher to "deploy support staff effectively", yet none of the teachers I've ever worked with has had any training in how to recognise and achieve effective deployment of TAs. In the absence of a school policy, it's left to each teacher/TA team to muddle along as best they can, each one not quite sure where their roles overlap and where they're complementary. Sometimes it works out well, sometimes it doesn't.
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  10. LeftTheBuilding

    LeftTheBuilding Occasional commenter

    For which I receive the princely sum of just over £9/hr. Good thing I'm not in it for the money or the status ;)
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  11. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Senior commenter

    Hey, it's a vocation!? I've just been given responsibility for working with a group of 3 Yr 7 boys who cannot access the class Maths as they are such low ability. I will have them last lesson on a Friday. Hardly the best time to achieve much. One is far weaker than the others so multi-tasking to the rescue and thinking on my feet!
    Bumptious likes this.
  12. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    well,, to be fair, I don't get any more as a teacher, I've done both jobs, and while the teaching salary is higher, the pay per hour is lower, not the point of your thread, I know, but that does sound a bit sour.

    Just ask the teacher what she wants you to do, that's all. She presumably has a scheme of work, you cn presumabley work off of that, either the same as the rest of the class, or the one for a lower class.

    Just ask. You can't complain about not knowing if you haven't asked
  13. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    dunnocks I don't get how you don't get much more than £9 an hour. An NQT would be on about £22,900, a TA in my LA would start on £17,170 if they were full time and we know that isn't possible as a TA so pay before any deductions will be much less than that.
  14. LeftTheBuilding

    LeftTheBuilding Occasional commenter

    Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to respond. I've approached the teacher concerned, while proferring a bar of Cadbury's best, and she's going to find a time when we can meet before school. Result!
    Flanks likes this.
  15. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    depends where you work..... I've been on 32K working 75+ hours per week tern time, + holidays = less than the OP per hour gross, and less than the minimum wage net.

    In a different school where I was a happy and busy TA, just getting on with things in my contracted hours, on a low pay with short hours, the teaching unions advised everybody to check they were working for more than the minimum wage. Many teachers were not.

    In my current school, the workload is far less, ( plus I am older and wiser and far more blase about saying no!) and so the pay per hour is more
  16. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Bumptious, you are so right about the lack of training for new teachers about working with a class team. In our LEA, NQTs have less than half a day!!!! I've done quite a lot of work in this area and have worked with a number of schools, working with teachers and TAs together - with very positive feedback. I have thoughts about developing it into a 2 day programme, but haven't got that far yet … maybe when I retire!
    Bumptious likes this.
  17. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Who is responsible for the child’s ‘progress ‘ ? I think the class teacher soooo makes perfect sense to tackle . You may have PM targets which address your accountability/his / her performance but ultimately the school’s routine /regular assessment procedures apply to ALL children ( good practice re CoP ) into which the teacher feeds ... you are a delegated / deployed part of it ?
    Bumptious likes this.
  18. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    I’ve worked on both sides of the divide. It is great if a TA can be given an idea of what the lesson is about in advance - or even at the start if the lesson. However it can be very difficult for a teacher to involve TAs to that extent. I always tried to, but the amount if other things that I had to do meant that it was often impossible :(
  19. LeftTheBuilding

    LeftTheBuilding Occasional commenter

    Agreed. If I were a teacher, I'm not sure how I'd meet the needs of all the children. As a TA, I'm conscious of not wanting to add to the teacher's workload, and frustrated at not having the info/resources I need to be a truly effective member of the class team.

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