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Teacher teaching two bubbles or splitting a class between teacher and TA?

(16 Posts)
RingPiece Fri 05-Jun-20 17:30:37

My niece is in year 6 and has been back to school this week. Next week she's at home whilst the other half of her class are in school being taught by the teacher who taught my niece this week. So, whilst the kids are in smaller bubbles, their teacher teaches both bubbles. The TA is shielding.

I know that this isn't the case in schools I've worked in (ex teacher) and that mostly each bubble has either the teacher or the TA each week. Again though, kids are in every other week as is the teacher or TA who's been teaching them. The week 'off' is spent setting and monitoring home learning. There is no home learning now in my niece's school.

Which scenario is best? I don't feel it's safe for the kids or the teacher in the first scenario. But then it's not fair on the TA in the second. What do you think?

OP’s posts: |
ThePlantsitter Fri 05-Jun-20 17:34:30

I think they may as well not bother with bubbles if they're doing it like that.

whatsleep Fri 05-Jun-20 17:37:36

Sounds like school are doing their best with the staff they have able to work. Not ideal that the teacher mixing with twice as many children but if there are no other options it is what it is.

The way school is running at the minute it would make little difference for the children whether they have a teacher of TA as the teaching is generally the same stuff that the children at home are accessing. Plus, as you know, any decent TA can follow the teachers guidance and present the lesson in his/her absence.

RingPiece Fri 05-Jun-20 18:05:09

I don't really have a criticism of my niece's school as such as I know it's hugely difficult and I don't know the school, it's not local to me, but I think that one teacher teaching two bubbles alternate weeks is a misunderstanding of the guidance.

Is there some sort of monitoring of schools that is happening now they're reopening? Is there a body designated to check they are following the guidance?

What happens if a child or someone in their family has symptoms and tests positive? Surely that means two bubbles, an entire class, can be affected, not just the one , as the teacher teaches both.

OP’s posts: |
RingPiece Fri 05-Jun-20 18:08:25

Plus, as you know, any decent TA can follow the teachers guidance and present the lesson in his/her absence.

Yes, I've worked with some amazing and competent TAs in the past and would trust them to manage and deliver lessons as well as any good teacher. I just don't think it's fair to ask them to step up considering their salaries. It's appalling how little most are paid and they do so much!

OP’s posts: |
Scottishgirl85 Fri 05-Jun-20 18:09:31

Yes our teacher and TA are across 2 bubbles in the same week, and key worker children are across 3 bubbles. It's not ideal...

Zofloramummy Fri 05-Jun-20 18:10:29

In the scenario of the Teacher and TA having responsibility for separate bubbles the rather large pay gap also comes into play. Whilst most TA’s are competent professionals and a vital part of a school they are not paid to be teachers. They in the majority have the experience and skill set to deliver pre-planned sessions and mark to a scheme but frankly they are paid peanuts. As a long term measure this will lead to some dissatisfaction if it isn’t addressed.

pfrench Fri 05-Jun-20 18:14:05

Not ideal that the teacher mixing with twice as many children but if there are no other options it is what it is.

The guidance stated that children would come back to their class teacher. That's the only way to do it. That was part of the reason politicians gave for getting schools back. Their own teacher.

As a positive, it means that there are other year group teachers available for when/if other year groups come back - presumably on the same basis.

Negative is obviously that the teacher/TA is exposed to far more options for infection. But teachers/TAs weren't really considered in this plan until unions got involved.

I think unless you are in management in a specific school, you can't judge what they are doing. Every school I know details of, is doing it differently. Usually based on what is best for the school community as a whole. Best thing I think, is that no school I know of is doing what the guidance actually suggests because it was impossible - every is doing their own thing.

UntamedShrew Fri 05-Jun-20 18:16:31

My DS being taught by a year 5 teacher, his usual teacher is in the other bubble. He misses her but it’s working out well.

helpfulperson Fri 05-Jun-20 18:24:56

We don't have bubbles in school plans for Scotland. I don't think any other countries do. Just limited numbers of pupils in each classroom.

Twiceover Fri 05-Jun-20 18:32:59

At my DC's school each year 6 class is split into two bubbles and the class teacher and TA move between the two bubbles which surprised me.
Also I have DTs so both in year 6 but in separate bubbles. Obviously they mix at home so potentially contaminating or sutting down two bubbles if anyone in our house has symptoms.

Testiiing Fri 05-Jun-20 18:43:10

My DC are being taught by TA’s from an entirely different year groups, my y1 child’s class teacher is leading a different bubble so clearly no rules on needing a teacher or their own teacher. Mixing bubbles makes no sense.

RedToothBrush Fri 05-Jun-20 19:53:22

Thats not a bubble.

Laiste Fri 05-Jun-20 21:11:13

My DD yr1 has been in the bubble with her TA all week until Thu afternoon when they bought the teacher that's been teaching one of the yr6 bubbles all week to take her bubble for the afternoon.

It does make a bit of a mockery of the bubble system.

Mind you i'd be fine if there was no SD in the school.

whatsleep Fri 05-Jun-20 21:14:31

I am a TA. to be honest at the minute we are all just working to get through this. The fact that I’m paid less doesn’t really bother me in the short term. I’m fully aware that there just aren’t enough teachers in the school to cover all of the bubbles so wouldn’t dream of making my low pay an issue. In the long term this model won’t work though so I will be interested to see what the long term outlook is.

If the TA is shielding then she has to be out if the equation, no questions asked.

Gammeldragz Fri 05-Jun-20 23:35:47

The bubbles in schools are surely more to stop children (who won't be distancing effectively or washing hands before touching their faces) from mixing too much between themselves. The teachers, while they may get close occasionally (but no where near as much as 5 year olds), will be more aware of infection risk.
I don't expect hospitals or care homes created bubbles, though that would have been sensible in terms of containment and contact tracing, it would also have been almost impossible to manage.

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