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I am a TA and at my school we get time off in lieu for any training or overtime. Being new to the job there have been quite a few bits of training that I have had to do outside my contracted hours, so far I have managed to have a day and a half off and have booked a half day so I can see my DD's nativity play.
It depends a bit on the school you work at. I think while you are new, you won't be able to have any time off for special events. Once you've been there a while you might be able to ask for the odd couple of hours if it's really vital, as I said - depending on the school.
My school is quite good (I have a fab boss). My friend works at a nearby school where it would be highly frowned upon even to ask.
I haven't found it too bad, lot of things seem to have a morning showing and an afternoon one. I work until 1pm so I can do afternoons. My children are both primary age.
In my area there are lots of applications for each TA/LSA position. You will have an advantage if you have volunteered regularly in a school or done any courses (parent helper course, safeguarding, first aid and so on).
In order to get this job (my first in a school) I had to be prepared to take whatever was on offer, be totally flexible on hours, put my dc into breakfast / afterschool club - whatever it took to get a job. I think it would be tricky with a preschool age child, unless you have a really good childminder. The pay is very low, any childcare eats into it drastically. I love the job though.
How easy is it to do this job with school age and pre-school age children? I am applying for a LSA job in a nearby school (part-time), but wondering about how flexible it can be with regard to your own children, e.g their special school dates (nativity, sports day etc) and if they are sick - are you under similar pressure to teachers to attend, come what may or is there more flexibility with regard to sickness and pre-booked days off? I am not intending to be flaky at all but just want to be informed and not really things I want to ask at interview, think they might be a bit put off and
I was keen to be a teacher at one point but I have been put off by the seemingly constant negative reports I get about hours, morale and conditions. I am also not sure I could handle the pressure tbh! I'd like to do a bit more than LSA level 1 eventually but wonder if it would be a good place to start a career working in education with children. There seem to be lots of positions advertised locally - is it quite competitive do you know? Thanks