TA teaching class - is this normal?

(14 Posts)
Tomato123 Wed 09-Nov-16 20:52:06

I've been told today, that my child's year 2 teacher will be teaching another year group from January 2017, and in their place the children will be taught by one of the schools TA's (for 2 days a week, as it's a job share position with a qualified teacher).

Therefore for 2 full terms the children will be taught by a TA for 2 days (not sure if they are HLTA), and a teacher for 3 days. Is this normal, and would you think it's acceptable?

I feel as though it's the schools way of avoiding to pay for a supply teacher for 2 terms, at a higher wage.

KohINoorPencil Wed 09-Nov-16 21:22:46

They might not be able to actually find a teacher. Things are really, really bad atm.

I don't think it's okay, but it is can be legal (depending on timing, planning and qualifications).

admission Wed 09-Nov-16 21:23:14

Whilst there are good reasons why a TA can teach a class in the short term, best practice would say that in the circumstances described that the school employ a supply teacher for the two terms.
Of course if they do not have someone that they know and rate, they are taking a chance that the supply teacher will be a good teacher and gel with the other teacher doing 3 days of the week. That might be a good reason that they would be looking to the TA to do the 2 days. You also do not know what the background of the TA is - they could actually be a qualified teacher.
One hopes that it is not solely for financial reasons but in these times it would be not be unexpected that the school is thinking along these lines

MrsKCastle Wed 09-Nov-16 22:39:12

As admission says, the TA may possibly be a qualified teacher. I think you'd be well within your rights to ask the HT whether this is the case. Although HLTAs can teach, it's not generally considered good practice to have an HLTA teaching such a high percentage of the week. I don't know if it's breaking any rules though.

Tomato123 Thu 10-Nov-16 07:31:34

Thank you so much for your replies.

I didn't mention that this is a private school. Therefore I find it quite extraordinary that I am paying the same, for what I would class as a less qualified/experienced teacher. I'm sure the school wouldn't openly admit to prospective parents what the position could be in the future with teaching staff and their child.

Does anybody know what level of supervision/support this person would require to teach 2 days a week?

Thanks again.

CauliflowerSqueeze Thu 10-Nov-16 07:42:59

Even a HLTA is paid by the hour, so unless there are additional paid non-contact hours it will be hard for her to plan and assess. I'm not sure the other part time teacher will be able to do both.

The problem is that in order to start teaching in January, a teacher needs to have given in their notice by October 31st, so therefore mid-October is the last time a school could advertise a position. The next slot is 31st December, to start at Easter. So really it's just one term they would get a supply teacher for.

Piglet208 Thu 10-Nov-16 08:25:53

In a private school there is no legal requirement for a teacher to have qualified teacher status so the school is not breaking any rules. I would expect that they feel the TA is very experienced and capable of teaching and a better prospect than a supply teacher as well as a cheaper option. Probably best to approach the school to ask the question and seek reassurance.

Pythonesque Thu 10-Nov-16 08:38:38

Well, I'll describe what happened a few years ago in my son's private school. I think the pre-prep usually had 2 TAs, one mainly in reception and the other shared. One year a newly qualified teacher took up one of the TA positions. Partway in to the year the reception teacher was unexpectedly hospitalised and ended up needing essentially the rest of the academic year on sick leave. The TA took over the reception class which allowed reasonably smooth management of a potentially difficult time. It was entirely appropriate as she was a qualified teacher anyway. (She took up a full teaching position the following year).

I hope that what's happening to your son is not dissimilar, and that the "TA" taking on more of the teaching is actually either more trained or more experienced than the term may suggest.

PhilODox Thu 10-Nov-16 08:44:34

I would say that lots of TAs are actually qualified teachers, escaping from the long hours/workload of teaching!
We had a very similar situation (teacher was having hysterectomy). The TA used to teach in the school (before any if that class were in school though!), and as the class TA knew all the children very well. There was far less disruption than if they'd had to bring in a cover teacher, the children weren't disrupted, and another TA from the school was the class TA for 6 weeks.
Ask the head for clarification before going off on one, they will have considered all possibilities I'm sure.

EnterNicknameHere Thu 10-Nov-16 08:46:21

I think a TA can teach the class alone as long as she is a level 3, I'm doing my level 2 TA at the moment and have been told that the difference between level 2 and 3 is that a level 3 can teach the class.

PhilODox Thu 10-Nov-16 08:49:20

And tbh, I would say that last year, my DS learnt more from his TA (worldly-wise, mum to 4 boys, highly educated to post-grad, post-qual level, become a TA after her children started school) than he did from his (frankly quite dizzy) young, inexperienced PGCE educated teacher. TAs can be utterly amazing. She sorted his handwriting difficulties, helped with his social issues, and made a huge difference managing an health issue. She was the best thing we could have hoped for!

Bluntness100 Thu 10-Nov-16 08:54:06

This is very unusual. My daughter was privately educated from the age of four, and there was always a teacher and at least one, often two teaching assistants, classes were small, I think 16 kids. In addition, as it was a religious school, the older nuns used to also come in and read with the kids one on one.

I'd try to find out why that's happening, and no I would not be happy on the face of it. If the teaching assistant was a qualified teacher then I'm fairly sure the school would have pointed this out.

TreehouseTales Thu 10-Nov-16 08:57:29

Private schools don't have to employ qualified teachers. I know a few friends went back to their old school to teach for a couple of years after graduating as it was tradition to do that to give back. Great subject knowledge but no teacher training!

Shockers Thu 10-Nov-16 09:03:40

From level 3 upwards, a TA can deliver a lesson, but the lesson must have been planned by the class teacher.
Many TAs are very experienced and experience will undoubtedly have been taken into account, as the school will need to get results.

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