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Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by totally disheartened, Jul 9, 2011.
.....to regularly cover PPA?
I've never done so, but I'd assume that those who do cannot afford to pay for addtional trained teachers to do it.
In special schools I think most Heads do because it is their role to use their allocated budgets to provide the best possible education for their pupils. An assistant who knows and understands the children (Because they work with them every day) and can continue to follow each and every individual programme in the way that is required provides a more effective cover for the class than a supply teacher who sees them occasionally at best
We have always used T.A. 's because ours are amazing, every one of them. They are more than capable of handling any of our classes. We do plan for them and get resources ready when necessary. We play to their strengths by giving them art, music, P.S.E. D.T. to teach. They are also cheaper than a teacher but they are just as effective as a teacher and have excellnt relationships with parents and children. I wouldn't consider anyone else.
HLTA's are used for all cover in my school unless a teacher is off more than 2 days. I train them each term, they observe each other, have time to plan with teachers and are highly respected. I risk assess what they can and can't do and meet them as a team regularly. They are not teachers and we have clear distinctions here and this is made explicit to all staff and parents. Teachers help me train them and feel secure that they are following their specific guidelines for each class. They have other responsibites too which support teaching staff.
Greta444, why don't you just replace all of your teachers with TAs? You could get some more, with strengths in maths and science for example, and they'd be far cheaper than teachers whilst being as effective! As you say, they have excellent relationships with parents, so no complaints there!
I don't use TAs to cover classes at all. They are all timetabled, mainly running intervention programmes and/or supporting individual pupils.
Teachers with classes sometimes say they don't think PPA cover teachers are doing the same job as them and get a bit miffed that they are paid the same. There are clear distinctions between HLTA duties and those of class teachers.
Do you only use HLTAs in your schools? Mine uses level 3 TAs.
Is that a cover supervisor grade D?
No idea. It's less money than an HLTA that's for sure. Level 3 is pay scale 17-21. So my school is full of staff who regularly teach (averaging 1-2 days a week) with no LSA of their own during these times for around £12,000 pa.
Do your TAs not feel miffed that they are expected to teach on a regular basis whilst still being on a TA wage?
I employ HLTA's to plan for PPA & emergency cover with support from teachers & PPA for themselves. Not every day. They teach a limited number of subjects which they are trained in and there's no extra work. They have a bank of well resourced mini topics for emergency cover. They have extra responsibilities, time to do them & enjoy their higher status and extra pay. They are not teachers, have none of the teacher's vast range of responsibilities or knowledge and skill and do a range of tasks very well. They are all excellent TAs as well and offer intervention at which is detailed and specific. Any of them could be teachers but none want to and they enjoy getting home on time with no extra work to do and have a life! Class teachers trust them in class and help them.
Thats part of the reason there are so many unemployed teachers! Too many unqualified and under qualified 'teachers' TA's, good ones at any rate, are worth their weight in gold but they are not teachers and should not have that responsibility in a class. Would I want my kids in a class with a TA leading.........no I would not. If you want to lead and teach then qualify!!!!!!
Covering a class is very difficult for a supply teacher as they don't know the children nor the expectations or programmes the school provides. An experienced and intelligent HLTA on a good salary knows the children, knows the next steps and can continue some of the learning journey if a teacher is sick. PPA Teachers do not have the same responsibilities as a class teacher. A well trained HLTA can deliver areas of the curriculum with intelligence and knowledge and skill, with a good salary. The HLTA qualification is exacting and much more than that of a TA. Teaching is a complex craft and the responsibilities and knowledge of an excellent class teacher are immense. A cover Professional is not expected to hold the knowledge and skill of the class teacher whoever you choose to employ. They compliment the work of class teachers and give them time out to perfect their craft. Who you choose to cover is up to you.
It's interesting to hear that you only use HLTAs for PPA cover- think you may be in the minority there! Why do many schools expect L3 TAs to do this too, with no extra training or money? Are we accepting that using our TAs rather than supply teachers is now the norm? Is this really about relationships between the staff and children or does it just come down to money? Surely using supply teachers longer term to cover PPA would lead to them understanding the childrens needs too?
This is an interesting debate and worth discussing. I know many schools who use HLTA's in a similar way to myself and also those who prefer Teachers to cover PPA. Many have excellent Teacher and HLTA cover provision. I use HLTA staff for PPA as they are in their PPA classes the rest of the week so know the children and Teachers' style. I had PPA Teachers in the past and found that this wasn't as effective as their hours were inflexible so they couldn't communicate with Teachers, get to know the children too well or engage with professional development. Flexibility in subject teaching was also an issue. PPA lesson quality has improved since making these changes and there is less disruption and fewer changes in adults across the school. The quality of those you employ is perhaps the main issue here and for my school it is important that there is strong consistency in provision and few changes in adults. I respect that this may be different for other schools. PPA HLTA cover staff are delivering learning which supports and compliments the in depth programme offered by the Class Teacher for a limited time slot (30mins to 1 hour sessions).
I must disagree. Part of a Supply Teachers role is to quickly ascertain what the ethos and expectations that each individual school requires. As we have experience in many schools, we come with those skills and behavioural management techniques that we know work, and because we have entered schools not knowing students, most good supply teachers are very quickly able to establish positive and productive working relationships with students.
Asking an unqualified person to deliver "areas of the curriculum" is like asking an admin assistant to undertake work that would be expected from a caretaker. While they might do the job, and do it well, they are not qualified or experienced in that line of work.
Would you accept an application for a Deputy/HOD/Assistant Head position from a non-qualified teacher?
We have experience, not only in our subject specialism but in many other areas of the curriculum. We have to have this knowledge. We do not baby sit, we teach students to learn and understand. Part of the issues is the work that has been left by the established teacher. Most of it causes the issues that you may of experienced with supply in the past. The amount of times I have been left with no work left, or work that is a repeat of what the students have already been issued with, and is brought back out to give as a "cover".
Myself and other supply teachers I know take pride in what we do, we have to make a difference and show our abilities in order to gain a foothold in a school.
I sometimes feel that each day is an interview!
And schools continue to use the "well these adults (unqualified) know the students". I'm afraid that is simply an excuse for economics.
HLTA's know to the children are often better respected than part time member of staff or supply covering PPA / Courses.
So an unqualified to teach HLTA is in a better position to cover than a qualified QTS?
So why have teachers?