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Learning support assistant being used to cover other classrooms.

(39 Posts)
Haddocksfunkychick Wed 22-Feb-17 16:26:33

My eldest ds has EHC plan that was finalised last summer with a role being created for a learning support assistant to be with him for 25 hours per week.

This role was filled with a great Lsa that really supports my son. He's moving up to secondary school in September and it's been all go with supporting his learning. He has short term memory loss which was only diagnosed in last year.

What's really bothering me is that when another TA is off sick or has to go to a out of school event, my ds's 'lsa' is being moved to a different classroom to then support the teacher.

If anyone has advice of how I tackle this matter with the school, it would be greatly appreciated.

TeenAndTween Wed 22-Feb-17 16:33:00

A word with the SENCO?

'DS reports that ....' / 'It has come to my attention that ...'

'this is concerning because funding is for DS and his EHCP says he needs 25hrs'.

'can you confirm that if this has been happening it will stop ....'

'can you check and get back to me'

If it continues then a more formal approach to HT?

EweAreHere Wed 22-Feb-17 16:34:50

I think the sad reality is that school budgets have been decimated under the current government. They were bad before, but now, just wow. There is no money. In my school, glue sticks and new pencils are like gold dust; we're beyond desperate for school supplies as we run out of things, but we have to ration them and go without. There is no money!

Schools won't be able to pay for cover TAs when a TA is off sick/on a course, and when push comes to shove, helping a class of 30 over supporting 1 will generally take priority on these occasions. Just a logistical and financial reality.

I think the best you can possibly hope for is that your son move with the TA if he can continue on with his work while his TA is in another classroom with roughly the same age groups.

Saucery Wed 22-Feb-17 16:39:50

Needs in other classes cannot be covered by someone employed for a set amount of hours under an EHCP. It would be completely inappropriate for a child to leave their cohort and accompany their TA to another class to do their work. They are not some sort of 'extra', they are there to support that particular child.
Completely agree that you should set out instances of this in a clear and unemotional way and ask the SENCO or Head to get back to you in a set time frame.

Spikeyball Wed 22-Feb-17 16:43:18

If your son has 25 hours 1:1 on his ehcp then that is what he should be getting. I would speak to the SENCO first and then if that doesn't get you anywhere put your concern in writing to the head. If that doesn't work I'd be contacting the LA. The ehcp is a legal document and they cannot ignore it to suit themselves.

Haddocksfunkychick Wed 22-Feb-17 16:46:14

Teen Thank you. I suffer with anxiety and the phrases that you have given me will actually help.

Ewe I completely understand that by placing the lsa with a full classroom and supporting 18 children rather than the 1 will take priority. What bothers me is that, me and the fab senco had to fight for the funding from the education board for the money that pays for the my sons lsa. That funding and job role was created for my son. I'm just wondering if I am wrong in thinking that the lsa can be used to cover other TA's. Thank you for the advice about my son going with her when she's been moved to another class. It's a very small school and the class sizes are all below 20 children.

Haddocksfunkychick Wed 22-Feb-17 16:49:09

Thank you Saucery you have just confirmed everything I've been thinking for the last 2 days.

Beardsareweird Wed 22-Feb-17 16:50:35

If the school receives funding for the LSA to support your son for 25 hours each week, then the school has to abide by that.

Sirzy Wed 22-Feb-17 16:56:39

Does the EHCP specify the number of hours of support?

Ds gets 1-1 support but his EHCP specifies the amount of top up money school will get rather than a set number of hours.

Haddocksfunkychick Wed 22-Feb-17 16:58:14

Spikeyball I'm going to write the email now. Thank you. You've all given me a kick up the bum to write the email.

My son was accused of kicking another boy today. The boys who was kicked has even said it wasn't my son. My Dh called the school this afternoon to ask what had happened as ds was very emotional. A small group of girls had told another TA that ds had kicked the boy (it was the most popular boy in the school who had done it) and he was made to apologise. Dh was told that the TA believed the girls over ds as this group of girls never lieangry

When I asked why ds hadn't spoken to his lsa, I was told that she was convering another class again. Ds has speech therapy and has come on leaps in the last 3 years. He's just finding his voice. Well he's trying but it's apparent that his 'voice' isn't deemed as important as others.

Saucery Wed 22-Feb-17 16:59:13

It's not to say an lsa couldn't be asked to pop to the photocopier to copy some worksheets etc while their 1:1 is engaged and on task, nor that they have to be glued to that child in a way that doesn't foster independence. Reasonable to take MrsY's homework marking in their class to do, not reasonable to be taken out of their 1:1's class to cover if MrsY is off.

Haddocksfunkychick Wed 22-Feb-17 16:59:27

Yes it's 25 hours per week. It's all documented in his EHCP.

Saucery Wed 22-Feb-17 17:00:33

X post. That's awful! Completely unacceptable and exactly the reason your Ds has a 1:1 in the first place!

Saucery Wed 22-Feb-17 17:03:19

I expect the lsa isn't too pleased about it either, particularly in light of today's incident. They will work hard to support your ds, as you have said and to see it take an almighty step backwards because they are not being allowed to undertake the role they are supposed to will be so frustrating.

OneInEight Wed 22-Feb-17 17:10:25

It depends how tightly your sons EHCP is worded. 25 hours equivalent of TA support (as was worded in my ds's Statements) is not the same as 25 hours 1:1. They could legitimately move the TA on the former wording but not the latter as long as support was given in a different way. You may get better advice by posting on the Sn children section.

Haddocksfunkychick Wed 22-Feb-17 17:12:58

I have also been thinking that the lsa isn't probably happy with being moved around. I just didn't want to assume that I know best.

The school has gone through many changes in 18 months and the headteacher is very on the offence when I do query anything to do with ds's support at the school.

LucklessMonster Wed 22-Feb-17 17:15:26

I would add the incident from today to your email. "While my son was without his LSA today, there was an incident in which etc etc..."

Have it in writing that taking his LSA away is causing real problems for him.

Haddocksfunkychick Wed 22-Feb-17 17:15:27

Ds is being left with no support when the lsa is moved. She had to cover 2 full days sickness and move the reception class in the week before half term.

Just reading through the most up to date plan.

Haddocksfunkychick Wed 22-Feb-17 17:17:44

Luckless great advice, I shall put that in. Thank you.

MyCatsHateMLMtoo Wed 22-Feb-17 17:20:59

OP, I am a SfLA (Scotland) and ten of my hours are 1:1 with a pupil (our school receives specific funding for this from another borough).

My remit is to spend all of that time supporting this pupil, no-one else. In my school I wouldn't be asked to do another job during the allocated time with this pupil.

I am concerned that this 25 hours your child has been specifically allocated is being compromised. These 'hours' are extremely difficult to get and are not awarded unless there is very good reason. Please can you make a fuss about this and send emails (so it is recorded) to remind the school that they have a duty of care to deliver your son's allocated 25 hours support.

Keep a close eye on whether this is being consistently achieved too, weekly phone calls or visits to speak to class teacher and Support Assistant, if necessary.

I understand very well that cost cutting has had a negative impact of support in classes but that is a totally different issue. Your son has been allocated these hours, they are his, no one elses!

Best of luck, OP.

Thegirlinthefireplace Wed 22-Feb-17 17:21:12

I work as a LSA and my experience at our school is that when there are staff shortages cover never comes from an allocated 1:1. The person with the 1:1 funding always keeps their LSA even if it means an entire class going without. My understanding was that doing it this way is not optional. I would speak to the senco or head because this isn't acceptable.

Laiste Wed 22-Feb-17 17:22:03

Email sounds a good idea. Are you able to speak to his LSA too? Have you got an assessment meeting due soon where you, the LSA and SENCO meet? Can you ask for one?

When i was a 1:1 SNLSA i would meet regularly with the parent and the SENCO to discuss the statement. Parent and i were on first name terms. We'd often speak at the end of the school day.

Saucery Wed 22-Feb-17 17:22:36

is a need for consistency and routine one of your ds's needs? You don't have to go into any details but if it is then put that in too, as they are removing that from him.

Megatherium Wed 22-Feb-17 17:26:14

Schools won't be able to pay for cover TAs when a TA is off sick/on a course, and when push comes to shove, helping a class of 30 over supporting 1 will generally take priority on these occasions. Just a logistical and financial reality.

And totally unlawful. If an EHCP specifies that a child must have 25 hours a week 1:1 support from a TA, then that is what that child must have. They will have to find another way of covering the classroom TA. If the school doesn't sort this out, both it and the local authority could be taken to court.

EweAreHere Wed 22-Feb-17 17:27:08

What do you think happens when the 1:1 support TA is off?

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