Teaching Assistant taking a class full time. Is it legal?

(43 Posts)
calzone Sun 06-Mar-16 09:44:22

Will be vague so as not to drop myself in it! 😀

TA in y4.
Teacher quits due to stress. TA takes over. TA is able, motivated but not a teacher. Has now taken over the class full time (and is full of herself but that's another story!)
Meanwhile, HT appoints another teacher to free up the deputy from teaching so she can do leadership.

My questions are:

Would you be ok with a TA teaching your child full Time?
Would you be annoyed as a teacher that she hasn't done the uni route but sailed into teaching?

kaitlinktm Sun 06-Mar-16 09:50:22

It probably is legal - there was a thread on this recently:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/the_staffroom/2583049-Level-3-TA-Teaching-Class?msgid=59643155

Not sure how I feel really - ever since Michael Gove (well probably before too) I have been given to understand that virtually everyone who has ever been to school could do my job as well as or better than I can. sad

wonderpants Sun 06-Mar-16 09:51:29

I'm about to start a PGCE, and the amount that hlta's are used in the school I'm volunteering in concerns me. I wonder whether teachers are becoming the more expensive, less favoured option.
The hlta's feel that they have done a years training and been assessed so are on a par with a PGCE NQT with more experience.
So as a prospective teacher, it concerns me. As a parent, I suppose it depends if my child is achieving their potential!

calzone Sun 06-Mar-16 09:52:59

All ppa cover staff have been let go due to budget cuts and TAs will be teaching regularly here ......

slicedfinger Sun 06-Mar-16 09:53:51

Is the TA going to be doing the in situ teacher training? I forget what it's called exactly, but know of some who have done it recently. Experienced TAs now (after a lot of hard work) qualified teachers, but didn't have to leave their school to do it.

bloodyteenagers Sun 06-Mar-16 11:20:30

No I would not be happy.
Every class has to have a named teacher.
Level 3's have limits on the amounts of time they can spend in the class, holding the class.
They are not allowed to plan and assess on their own. They have to do this with teacher.

Even HLTA standards have changed, and they have to have lesson plans from teachers.

Fedup21 Sun 06-Mar-16 11:39:31

The hlta's feel that they have done a years training and been assessed so are on a par with a PGCE NQT with more experience.

Really?!

Hulababy Sun 06-Mar-16 11:45:10

None of the HLTAs I know feel they are as qualified and at the same level as teachers. Even the TAs I know, myself included, who are actually qualified teachers in their own right don't see themselves as the same as the actual named class teacher.

However, luckily I do work at a school where TAs and HLTAs are treated with a lot of respect and the skills and experience they have are valued, in the same way that the skills and experience of the different teachers are valued.

I have spoken to people who are TAs and in some schools where some teachers look down hugely on TAs - even when said TA is working very hard, at a high level, and has a really high level of experience in key areas, and working at a vastly reduced rate of pay than the teachers.

It should work both ways!

Hulababy Sun 06-Mar-16 11:46:33

bloody teenagers - do you have a link for an updated document which states that HLTAs should only work from a lesson plan devised by a teacher? And when did this change?

This is not what we were told by the LEA, nor the teaching unions.

rollonthesummer Sun 06-Mar-16 11:53:00

Even HLTA standards have changed, and they have to have lesson plans from teachers.

I didn't know that?! Surely teachers should be told if that is now the case. Is that just guidelines?

rollonthesummer Sun 06-Mar-16 12:00:11

That's pretty crap that the head can find money to get a teacher to release the deputy head but thinks it's ok to leave an HLTA in charge of the class!

Is it an academy?

Are any of the other parents cross?!

bloodyteenagers Sun 06-Mar-16 12:09:54

Standards 17 - 21 - planning and expectations.
17Use their area(s) of expertise to contribute to the planning and preparation of learning activities
18Use their area(s) of expertise to plan their role in learning activities
19Devise clearly structured activities that interest and motivate learners and advance their learning
20Plan how they will support the inclusion of the children and young people in the learning activities
21Contribute to the selection and preparation of resources suitable for children and young people's interests and abilities

We asked for verification from the HNAP because of how it's worded and was told 17 - overall planning to be done by the teacher. HLTA can contribute to this.
18 - how the HLTA's own expertise can be used within the class, i.e., if someone has a niche skill how this can be used.
19 - delivering the lesson, planning comes from teacher.
20 - looking at resources and how they will include the assistance from other adults within the room
21 - again contribution.

Standards 22 -25 monitoring and assessment
22Monitor learners' responses to activities and modify the approach accordingly (If a lesson has been planned in x way, but the hlta sees that this approach isn't working, they might have a different idea that could be used to deliver the lesson. So the actual LO hasn't changed which has been given by the teacher.)
23Monitor learners' progress in order to provide focused support and feedback
24Support the evaluation of learners' progress using a range of assessment techniques
25Contribute to maintaining and analysing records of learners' progress

Those are the most up to date standards which changed in 2014 iirc.
You can contact the HNAP for more guidance. The standards are listed on their website www.hlta.org.uk

bloodyteenagers Sun 06-Mar-16 12:17:30

Then long term cover, as what is being asked in the op, is covered by the Work load agreement, and that a cover supervisor cannot do more than 5 consecutive days. Long term sickness should be covered accordingly.

Schools should have written distinct policies that covers PPA and cover.

Teachers only know if head's tell them, and if this is properly documented. Some Ta's will just go along with things because they don't realise that can say well actually no, I am not doing this. Like the level 3 can easily say no, I am not doing this. Even if it was the hlta, their are guidelines etc, approved by unions who say no they cannot do long term cover. Obviously some do agree.

Hulababy Sun 06-Mar-16 13:40:56

And then teachers aren't supposed to plan work to be delivered during their own PPA - all so conflicting

bloodyteenagers Sun 06-Mar-16 14:48:10

lessons plans done on a termly basis. HLTA comes into cover ppa, lesson plans readily available. HLTA can see plan and see where pupils are up to and continue.
In addition feed back sheets also readily available so if unsure HLTA can see where pupils is at because obviously they complete at different rates.

Teacher hasn't planned for that actual lesson as such because whole term has been planned in advance. HLTA can continue without planning.

Time tabling is generally done so that teacher takes ppa when students are with another class. So rarely HLTA is used for this unless there's been a mid term switch for some reason.

CamboricumMinor Sun 06-Mar-16 15:54:57

It depends on the TA surely? You could have a TA with 20 years experience and no degree or a newly qualified teacher with a degree or you could have a TA who is relatively new without much experience. Sometimes I'd be happy with a TA teaching but not others. DS seems to learn more from his TA who has a great knowledge, controls the class well and is good at inspiring the children whereas his teacher has only been doing the job for two years and doesn't seem to be as good as the TA in some ways. I've been in the class and seen them both teaching when they have had 'learn with your child' events.

LuluJakey1 Sun 06-Mar-16 15:58:45

If it is an academy it is legal. Academies can employ anyone they like to teach.

If it is a state school she can take on specified work for a set period.

bloodyteenagers Sun 06-Mar-16 16:05:27

If it didn't matter then teachers wouldn't go through additional training.
If it didn't matter then the ta's wouldn't be paid as poorly as some are. The ta won't be getting paid to do the extra work, if they wanted to pay a teachers wage then they would get someone in.
By using ta's long term it could be said that this devalues the education the teacher has had to undertake.
A teacher unlike a ta has to also undergo more observations than the ta's. Teachers are monitored a lot more and harder to slip through if inadequate. Some school have an appraisal once a year for the ta, with no observations. And unlike the teacher termly ones are not linked to pay.

VulcanWoman Sun 06-Mar-16 16:27:20

This is the reason why I gave up TA training.

rollonthesummer Sun 06-Mar-16 17:55:21

Time tabling is generally done so that teacher takes ppa when students are with another class.

That wouldn't work in primary though.

Kitla Sun 06-Mar-16 18:00:28

As Lulu said, if it's an academy, they can employ who the hell they like - doesn't have to have QTS, doesn't even need to be a TA.

Details here: https://fullfact.org/education/unqualified-teachers/

bloodyteenagers Sun 06-Mar-16 20:38:19

It can work at primary. Class music, art and pe lessons aren't generally taken by the
Class teacher. I don't know any primary schools children who are with their class teacher an entire week. Good to move around to get used to secondary.

calzone Sun 06-Mar-16 23:26:12

It's not an academy.

Euphemia Mon 07-Mar-16 08:05:28

Class music, art and pe lessons aren't generally taken by the Class teacher. I don't know any primary schools children who are with their class teacher an entire week.

In Scotland we teach all subjects, there are not necessarily any specialists. Only if you're lucky! We get 10% non-contact time per week, but the teacher who covers your class could be teaching anything. Only qualified teachers are allowed to be in sole charge of a class.

Fedup21 Mon 07-Mar-16 08:14:46

I've taught in a fair few schools (England) over the years and I have always taught all subjects-PE/music/art etc I actually don't know of any schools where primary children aren't with their teacher all week!

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