Rules about a TA teaching

(79 Posts)
racetothebottom Fri 13-Sep-13 21:25:19

My son is out of school because he has Asperger's and is unable to cope with his setting.

School and all the professionals supporting him agree he should be taught at home.

We are currently paying for tutors and the hope was LA would take over this. They are in breach of their duty to educate as they are doing nothing despite the fact he has a statement.

They have now said they want school to send a TA to teach him at home until January when they will review.

His head is not happy and is seeking advice as he believes a TA should not be teaching.

I am sure this must be right but what is the law on this?

Ragusa Fri 13-Sep-13 22:21:39

There are rules on TAs teaching in maintained schools but these would not be relevant for education otherwise I don't think. There may be contractual problems in deploying a TA in this way I guess....
Main issue sounds as if it's that the LA are not meeting their statutory duties and their solutions are rubbish....

Have you tried IPSEA? They are good. Feel for you

racetothebottom Fri 13-Sep-13 22:25:03

Thanks. If TAs can't teach unsupervised in mainstream schools, I was assuming they can't provide unsupervised education outside school either as this would be even less supervised!!

FannyMcNally Sat 14-Sep-13 07:06:32

Most TAs work unsupervised out of the classroom with catch-up groups, phonics etc. The work is planned or authorised by the teacher and prepped and delivered by the TA. I'm assuming the same sort of plan would happen here.

Dwinhofficoffi Sat 14-Sep-13 07:17:20

I am a Learning Support and I have done it. It did need permission from the head of education in my LEA but it was done. (Child had an illess so at times was susceptible to getting bugs etc) My job involved going to the house with a selection of work and working with the child.

Dwinhofficoffi Sat 14-Sep-13 07:17:58

In the end I planned my own sessions as I knew what he could cope with.

racetothebottom Sat 14-Sep-13 07:50:53

There are statutory Regulations on this when it comes to actually teaching a child which a TA sent 25 minutes away from school to a child's home would be doing.

She would be left on her own to deliver a lesson and this is not for just a short period but for four months.

There is also guidance about the quality of provision a child out of school will get.

It is one thing for a child to be in a booster group or catch up group for half an hour outside a class. It's quite another for a child's only educational provision to be a TA with no contact with a teacher.

Is this not what home tutors are for?

It's all about money.

thecatfromjapan Sat 14-Sep-13 08:03:19

What about getting in touch with a teaching union? They will have access to proper, professional, up-to-date legal advice on this area of employment law, and I suspect your interests will coincide quite strongly.

Hope you're OK, generally And I'm guessing that you know about the SN boards on mn. smile

thecatfromjapan Sat 14-Sep-13 08:04:17

Sometimes, LEAs can be stunningly shit. You;d think that human empathy would triumph, but no. Not always.

racetothebottom Sat 14-Sep-13 08:09:17

Thanks very much.

mrz Sat 14-Sep-13 08:47:11

"Most TAs work unsupervised out of the classroom with catch-up groups" - supervised doesn't mean the teacher stands over them watching their every move (it would be a waste of the teacher's time and totally pointless) the teacher should be directing the TA and ensuring they deliver the lesson effectively. Personally I disagree with withdrawing children from lessons and sending them off with a TA but that's another thread altogether)

racetothebottom Sat 14-Sep-13 11:52:00

I agree. Indeed, DS's school doesn't use TAs at all save for named children with statements. Teachers are employed instead. This means, for example, a mixed Y3/4 class has two teachers working in it and groups are taken out by teachers and not TAs

NynaevesSister Sat 14-Sep-13 18:45:21

Our school uses HLTAs for these purposes, and all of them are exceptionally good. Usually they are preparing to do or are doing their PGCE too.

There are also TAs I'd be happy with too. Our TA in Reception was so good it was like having two teachers in class. If she had been sent to tutor my son in those circumstances I would have been thrilled.

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Sat 14-Sep-13 18:49:58

Personally I'd prefer a good TA to teach than a supply teacher, the TA knows the class and their foibles and abilities.

mymatemax Sat 14-Sep-13 18:52:16

what are the rules on this in a class as my sons class has a HLTA timetabled to teach them one afternoon each week.

Mynewmoniker Sat 14-Sep-13 18:57:43

I'll be flamed I know but...

TAs 'teaching'; doing the job that teachers have been to college/university to train to do for years reeks of cheap, cost-cutting methods.

I know there are brilliant TAs but until they are fully qualified schools should stop taking advantage of these SUPPORT workers.

I hope your son is offered a fully qualified teacher whilst he's off.

<waits for kickback>

mrz Sat 14-Sep-13 19:01:27

NynaevesSister my objection has nothing to do with the who more with the fact that withdrawing a child be it by a qualified teacher, HLTA or TA means that child is missing out on being taught the things being taught to their peers ... so the gap grow and grows

thecatfromjapan Sat 14-Sep-13 21:28:39

The LEA are supposed to provide an education and, as far as I understand it, if for some reason the school/the educational provider they put in place they allocate a child state/s that they are unable to provide an adequate education, it is usual for the LEA to fund alternatives.

At the moment, the OP is paying, the school HEad seems to be in agreement that the school provided by the LEA isn;t able to support the education of the OP's child,, and the LEA is offering a TA.

I would be pretty surprised if that is invulnerable to legal challenge.

In all the situations I've come across, the LEAs have paid for/subsidised the alternatives researched by the parent(s) (which have tended to be pretty good, in my limited experience).

But I am no legal person. The OP needs legal help with this. She probably doesn't need various opinions on the pros and cons of TAs teaching.

thecatfromjapan Sat 14-Sep-13 21:43:09

I'm sorry. I'm not very well and I'm grouchy.

I'm (probably irrationally) cross that the OP and her child are clearly not getting the support that they should have and that she is almost certainly going to have quite a bit of hassle getting that support, and the information to make her case. A case that she really shouldn't have to be having to present in the first place.

tethersend Sat 14-Sep-13 21:46:22

Has the school specifically said that they cannot educate your son?

Are you happy with him being educated at home?

racetothebottom Sat 14-Sep-13 23:17:04

Thanks. I appreciate all your views.

We tried for 6 months to settle my son in school. I even ended up twking him in to school and staying him with him. He has just not been able to cope with the class and his peers as he has matured.

But he is very happy out of school and works hard with his tutor. Everyone can see that this works and is the best option for now

We are prepared to accommodate this as an option in light of the absence of decent special schools - in fact Im not sure a special school would suit. Even the independent SS we have seen aren't a good match as he is bright and it seems hard to accommodate bright children with AS but high levels of anxiety.

But we don't see why he should end up being taught at home by a TA. However efficient and skilled. A TA is not a teacher and parents would not be happy with their non-disabled kids in school being taught solely by a TA with no access to a teacher.

racetothebottom Sat 14-Sep-13 23:17:50

Yes, school has said they cannot support him and he is getting no benefit from being there and I totally agree.

Ragusa Sat 14-Sep-13 23:28:40

I really would recommend that you speak to IPSEA or another similar advice org as soon as poss. IIRC there can be issues if you are deemed to be 'voluntarily' home educating a child with a statement of sen (I know you're not necessarily, but....) namely that the LA is no longer required to provide the provision on the statement although they are still obliged to review statement annually.

Ragusa Sat 14-Sep-13 23:38:46

Is the current school named on the statement? If so you may need to ask for statement to be reviewed.

racetothebottom Sat 14-Sep-13 23:40:16

Thanks very much. He is on the school roll so we are not home educating. School cannot take him off the roll legally and the LA won't offer an alternative but they have agreed he shouldn't be in school.

However, they want him educated by a TA rather than a tutor.

We are getting legal advice but I wondered if there were any specific rules. The LA has to offer a 'suitable education' to very child under the Education Act. Being tutored solely by a TA for the next 4 months does not sound like it meets that test to me

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