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To think that Midday Assistants are not utilized or respected as much as they should be?

(86 Posts)
AwfulMaureen Sun 12-Jan-14 22:51:19

In schools I mean. They are party to ALL of our children's social issues at playtime....which is often the hardest time for some children...I remember when my DD1 was having some issues in her new school and I asked the teacher how she was at playtime...the teacher said she'd try to find out!

She did bless her....but it made me see...the playtime assistants see all of it don't they? We have no contact with them...they don't get paid enough to be worrying about being hassled by anxious parents I know...but maybe they should be paid more and also be able to chat to parents about the kids' social development when some have issues...getting left out or bullied for instance...these things happen all the time don't they?

WooWooOwl Sun 12-Jan-14 22:59:57

YANBU! I have been saying this for ages, you are so right.

WorraLiberty Sun 12-Jan-14 23:02:46

They should be chatting to teaching staff/SLT if they have concerns about certain pupils.

And no, in a busy primary school like my DCs that has 950 pupils, of course they don't see it all.

AwfulMaureen Sun 12-Jan-14 23:02:57

Oh good! Glad I'm not alone. Sometimes I get ideas that people say "what are you going on about that for?" and laugh! But it's true isn't it! They look after our kids as they learn to interact...especially the smaller ones...they hold the hands of the kids who can't quite fit in...and they witness all of the bullying and exclusion....they sort out the spats and the rows...they know all the pecking orders...

Nanny0gg Sun 12-Jan-14 23:03:02

I agree with some of what you say, but I don't agree with the chatting to parents bit. That should be done via the teacher in the context of the whole school day.

otherwise, you'd be opening a big can of worms...

Doingakatereddy Sun 12-Jan-14 23:03:25

Midday assistants?! Is this the same as Dinner Ladies?

If so, then yes Dinner ladies are so important & I remember them with huge fondness as they helped me through some rough times

However, I bloody loathe the term midday assistants

AwfulMaureen Sun 12-Jan-14 23:04:22

Worra I admit I was thinking more of my DDs school which has 200 kids! They all play almost in one yard....I suppose they do chat to the teachers when there are issues which get repeated. But what about the parents whose kids struggle continually to socialise? And there are lots of those....shouldn't they be able to have updates from the horses mouth? And the assistants get paid more?

Isthatwhatdemonsdo Sun 12-Jan-14 23:05:26

In our school all of the LSA'S work the lunch duty. So we know exactly what goes on. I agree we should be paid better too. We earn less for lunchtimes than our LSA hours. It's crazy.

AwfulMaureen Sun 12-Jan-14 23:05:54

Doing well our Midday Assistants are not all "Ladies" we have one who is a man.

AwfulMaureen Sun 12-Jan-14 23:06:25

And he wouldn't like to be called a "Dinner Lady" hmm

AwfulMaureen Sun 12-Jan-14 23:06:59

What is a LSA?

WorraLiberty Sun 12-Jan-14 23:07:27

No I genuinely get where you're coming from OP...but 'updates from the horses mouth' for 200 pupils is unreasonable.

They can't watch every kid, every day and see how they interact.

Often a child will only come to their attention if they have problems...and then they'll report that to teachers/SLT if it's necessary.

I understand your concern but what you're asking is a mammoth task if you really think about it.

WeddingComingUp Sun 12-Jan-14 23:08:14

Midday assistants?!?

As in dinner ladies?

Isthatwhatdemonsdo Sun 12-Jan-14 23:10:27

Learning Support Assistant. WE ARE NOT DINNER LADIES!! God I hate it when we are called that.

Mellowandfruitful Sun 12-Jan-14 23:10:30

If they're out in the playground then they can't be dinner ladies, can they? Or not solely, anyway. So why not have a term that can be broader?

It's the age old story, though, isn't it, OP: often people in low-pay low-status jobs are doing something valuable they don't get recognised for. And yes, while I don't know how much they are paid I would imagine they deserve more.

Fairenuff Sun 12-Jan-14 23:11:02

A good school will make sure that their lunchtime supervisors are fully trained in such things as first aid, safe guarding, health and safety, team teach, confidentiality etc. They are a valuable part of the team.

However, they should not be speaking directly to parents, that would be the role of the class teacher or senior member of staff. Lunchtime supervisors do play a very important role and, if managed properly, will report any concerns and/or queries to the appropriate member of staff.

AwfulMaureen Sun 12-Jan-14 23:11:16

Worra I suppose there are quite a few assistants in any one playtime though?

My DD is ok now thank God but I well remember fighting the urge to stand behind a bush at playtime and spy....just to see what was REALLY going on.

Weddings someone has already said that Midday Assistants are "really" Dinner Ladies but not in this day and age they're not...especially when they are MEN! As one is in my DDs school

WorraLiberty Sun 12-Jan-14 23:12:05

The term 'Midday assistants' has replaced the term 'Dinner ladies' because as the OP quite rightly pointed out, they're not all ladies.

Also, they're not all dinner staff. Some of them deal with playground only rather than lunch hall...because some schools have become so large that lunchtimes are staggered. Therefore supervision in the playground lunchtime can take up to 2 hours.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 12-Jan-14 23:12:20

I would imagine the dinner ladies/men wouldn't want to hang around for 2+ hours to speak to the parent, when they can do the handover after they have finished work.

The ones in DD school also have another job because the hours are so short.

AwfulMaureen Sun 12-Jan-14 23:12:46

Fairenuff you said *They should not be speaking directly to parents"

Why? hmm they're good enough to help the children mix, play and learn social skills.

AwfulMaureen Sun 12-Jan-14 23:14:34

I don;t know..I see what people are saying....haven't any of you had concerns that your child was being picked on or not doing well at playtime? And found that the teachers weren't able to watch all the time or even to help as they were busy....

WorraLiberty Sun 12-Jan-14 23:14:56

My DD is ok now thank God but I well remember fighting the urge to stand behind a bush at playtime and spy....just to see what was REALLY going on.

Which is why they should never have to get involved with anxious parents.

Where would that end? Your child either has a problem or they don't.

If they do, you need to speak to the teacher who will (if necessary) ask the midday assistant to keep an eye out.

Also most schools will have one or two teachers on duty at the same time as the assistants.

AwfulMaureen Sun 12-Jan-14 23:18:38

Worra I wasn't anxious....but DD was coming home saying there was nobody to play with. I spoke to her teacher who used to mumble something useless....and DD was struggling. That's not over-anxious! That's normal concern. I didn't spy by the way!

Nerfmother Sun 12-Jan-14 23:19:09

I'm not quite sure what you are suggesting? That we have trained midday supervisors who can support children and help with a wide range of issues and feed back to parents?
Or that the current ones feed back to parents?

Goldmandra Sun 12-Jan-14 23:23:05

I'd rather any extra money was spent on better training.

My DDs have had some lovely 'lunchtime supervisors', as they're named in our county, who really knew their stuff, understood children and did a fantastic job but there have also been some terrible ones whose approach seems to be picked from the worst bits of the parenting advice from the Victorian era.

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