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Teaching assistants taking lessons

(90 Posts)
wantstosleepnow Fri 07-Oct-11 18:42:46

I am prepared to be told IABU wink

My 3 DC all attend the same primary school and it seems that the reception TA takes the class by herself on a friday, and my yr 4 DS says that a TA takes his class on a fri afternoon. This TA is one of the mums from his class, she has only been a TA for a year. I find it hard to believe she could have done enough training to manage a class by herself.

I also think that it undermines the teaching profession to use a TA, as AFAIK they have little or no training at all.

So AIBU to think that TA should be just that, teaching assistants?

chimchar Fri 07-Oct-11 18:47:21

If she is qualified to a level 4, she able to provide lone cover for the teacher as far as I'm aware.

many teaching assistants are highly qualified and some are qualified teachers but do the job because it fits in with their childcare for example.

Teaching assistants should have some sort of qualification, or be working towards one.

LindyHemming Fri 07-Oct-11 18:47:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EllaDee Fri 07-Oct-11 18:49:11

YANBU. I think it's dodgy, even if the TA is very good, because TA's don't get paid for that sort of thing.

I interviewed for a TA job where the head was so, so shifty - he said that 'off the record' the person who got the job would need to take classes 'as a last resort' then said 'maybe two or three times a day, that is'. I was really pissed off for the children at that school - I haven't a single teaching qualification to my name, not one, and still he would have employed someone like me to teach children 2-3 classes a day.

KittyFane Fri 07-Oct-11 18:49:14

PPA time I should think.
Also, secondary schools used cover supervisors for abs. teachers. These are usually teaching assistants/ unqualified.

KittyFane Fri 07-Oct-11 18:50:38

Use not used

hocuspontas Fri 07-Oct-11 18:51:42

An HLTA can cover lessons. E.g.|FOr a teacher's PPA time. This sounds like the Friday afternoon session. I'm not sure about all day in Reception. Are you sure it's all day? Is the teacher still in the classroom but not teaching? I thought there always had to be someone with teacher status in a Reception class but I could be wrong.

wantstosleepnow Fri 07-Oct-11 18:52:58

I used to talk to this other mum who is now a TA and she hadnt done any TA qualifications, so unless she has worked at the school and studied to level 4 at the same time then I doubt it!

wantstosleepnow Fri 07-Oct-11 18:54:35

I am only taking my DD(4yo) word for the TA taking a class all day, I asked her if she had seen her teacher at all that day and she said no.

EllaDee Fri 07-Oct-11 18:55:23

I may be wrong - as this was both dodgy (as I said!) and a couple of years ago now, but when I applied for TA jobs I was told my A Levels counted as quite a high level qualification, and if you had a degree it was very good? So I wonder if you could still have no teaching qualifications and have academic ones instead? Which IMO aren't really the same thing!

Salmotrutta Fri 07-Oct-11 18:56:06

Euphemia is right about what happens up here. Anyone actually taking a lesson has to be a qualified teacher. Support staff are not allowed to even supervise a class here unless they also happen to be a GTCS registered and qualified teacher (e.g. a qualified Learning Support Teacher).

BridgetBust Fri 07-Oct-11 18:56:20


mummymccar Fri 07-Oct-11 18:57:50

This is quite common is some of the schools I've worked in. The TAs cover the teacher's PPA time. It usually involves covering an 'easy' lesson so extended circle time for Reception, class reading or answering set questions for older children, not actually teaching them new things, more just revisiting topics they've been working on. Most schools hire supply teachers for PPA time though so try not to be too worried.
In your case the TA is a parent with no qualifications which means it'd likely just be an 'easy' lesson. A lot of TAs though have qualifications which mean that they could take the class. Usually it'd be a Senior or Higher Level TA but I've worked with TAs before who are actually qualified teachers. It is so difficult to find a job as a teacher in a primary school setting now that I know a lot of TAs who have QTS.
If you have concerns about it though maybe talk to the school.

ScaredBear Fri 07-Oct-11 19:00:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wantstosleepnow Fri 07-Oct-11 19:02:28

I dont really have concerns as such, the children seem perfectly happy with it.


If schools start doing this more and more and if it is allowed, and if the schools are saving money on supply teachers, and it happens more and more, then where do you draw the line?

Salmotrutta Fri 07-Oct-11 19:03:54

Again Stranded that doesn't happen up here as all PGDE graduates have a guaranteed induction (probation) year post. Unless of course they choose to do their probation on supply.

wantstosleepnow Fri 07-Oct-11 19:05:34

Thinking about it now and getting worked up , I think it will take some sort of crisis, with a publisised mistake made by a TA before this sort of practice is reviewed.

I think it is fine is a TA has a qualification in teaching, but if you have no experience of taking a class, no matter what level of other qualification you have, then you may not know how to handle a tricky situation.

KatAndKit Fri 07-Oct-11 19:08:38

If a TA has a qualification in teaching, they should be paid as a qualified teacher, at least for that lesson, even if they are paid as a TA the rest of the time. If they don't have a qualification in teaching I don't care what level TA they are, I disagree with it entirely.

It is just costcutting. Schools don't want to employ a teacher for the PPA hours.

KittyFane Fri 07-Oct-11 19:08:52

This has happened for a good number of years now.
Teachers cannot be asked to cover for teachers on top of their own timetable. Cover supervisors are a cheaper option for schools.

begonyabampot Fri 07-Oct-11 19:10:34

My friend is a TA and qualified to take classes by herself. She is highly educated and does a better job than some of the teachers. It sounds dodgy but really depends on the TA.

KittyFane Fri 07-Oct-11 19:11:18

Kat It is just costcutting. Schools don't want to employ a teacher for the PPA hours. Don't want to or can't afford to? I agree it's all down to money.

KittyFane Fri 07-Oct-11 19:11:51

True begony smile

hocuspontas Fri 07-Oct-11 19:12:11

The worst part of a TA covering (apart from earning a fraction of what a supply teacher would earn) is that the TA usually doesn't get a 'TA' of her own to help because they won't get anyone else in to cover herself. (If you get my drift). So the school budget wins twice shock

ScaredBear Fri 07-Oct-11 19:12:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LynetteScavo Fri 07-Oct-11 19:12:39

This TA maybe "one of the mums from the class who has only been a TA for a year" but do you know what qualifications/experience she has?

Lots of people want TA jobs, as they seem to fit in nicely with school holidays, so many TA's are qualified, as the competition for posts is so fierce. I don't know of any TA's who have no relevant training or qualifications. The reception TA may have extensive early years training. Reception is still classed as early years, but I would expect more than one adult to be supervision 30 children.

My DC have had PPA time covered by a yoga teacher(and TA), a dance teacher (and TA) a cover teacher (who couldn't keep the class engaged) and a TA. The experienced TA was the best of the lot.

I wouldn't be happy with only having one adult in a reception class! But if there were two experienced TAs then pre-planned circle time/PSHE and free flow for one after noon isn't exactly rocket science.

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