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What about LSAs / TAs

(19 Posts)
Moonlook Wed 18-Nov-20 07:37:42

It's just frustrating really, that people talk about the risks to teachers, and want to thank teachers, and barely any concern shown for LSAs.

In our school it's the LSAs who are sitting among the children - face height, sorting out first aid, personal care, administer any medicines. No standing at the front of the class or any kind of distancing possible. Impossible teaching phonics for example, in a mask, so we can't even do that. It's also the LSAs in our school who have to take groups out into unventilated rooms (or cupboards). It's also LSAs who do all the extra cleaning duties. And get paid a ridiculously low wage for the amount of responsibility held even in normal times, let alone Covid.

OP’s posts: |
Watsername Wed 18-Nov-20 19:24:15

Thank you smile

I am a CV TA and do all of the above, but with no protection apart from a visor when doing 1-1s (no face coverings/masks allowed). Today I have been teaching all afternoon as the teacher is at home as her DDs' school have closed. No extra pay, it's just expected.

TBH I read the 'concern for teachers' thread as including TAs/LSAs/MDSs and other support staff.

EachDubh Wed 18-Nov-20 19:34:42

I think when people talk about teachers they mean all staff working with the kids. I refer to my psa as a teacher because whilst our jobs are different she is amazing and makes far more difference to our kids lives than many teachers ever will. Criminally underpaid 😢

Nellodee Wed 18-Nov-20 19:34:57

I am very worried for the TAs in my secondary school, who have a much higher average age than our teachers. I think they have been told they should stay off to the side and help out from there, but that's so hard to do, that most of them are just getting in there and mucking in.

I hope they all stay safe, we are so lucky to have them.

Smallwhiterat Wed 18-Nov-20 19:35:30

I tend to regard the TAs in my child’s class in the same category as teachers - I include them in eg teacher Christmas cards, I thank them when they’ve done particular things with my child, I am fully supportive of them being allowed to eg wear ppe the same as I am with teachers. I think TAs do a valuable and important role and a couple have quite literally transformed one of my children’s experience of school (and yes, I have told them that and the headteacher as well). Honestly, I use “teachers” as shorthand for “school staff working with the children”.

YellowPostItPad Wed 18-Nov-20 19:37:14

Agreed!

SansaSnark Wed 18-Nov-20 19:47:17

I am very concerned about TAs too- many of them at my school are still sitting among the children, there is no 2m distancing. Some provide physical assistance to children- again no 2m distancing possible. Some are not properly able to distance from other adult staff.

I am also worried for non-teaching pastoral staff- especially those who get every child who is feeling unwell sent to them!

I don't know what the answer is, beyond making schools in general safer.

Smallwhiterat Wed 18-Nov-20 19:55:23

It’s the same to me as when people and the media talk about doctors and nurses when discussing the nhs and hospitals. It’s not that they don’t care about or value the work of phlebotomists or radiographers or healthcare assistants or physiotherapists or porters etc etc they just tend to lump them all under “doctors and nurses”.

Chocarocker Wed 18-Nov-20 19:57:34

I’m a secondary TA and spend my days sitting amongst a class of 30 children with no social distancing or protection and with a large degree of physical contact with at least one of the students I support. It is impossible to do my job from a 2 metre distance and we are just having to get on with it but doesn’t stop me and my colleagues from being nervous about the risk.

RuleWithAWoodenFoot Wed 18-Nov-20 20:04:00

I'm worried about school staff in general.

Our LSAs have been visored and masked since September, aprons and gloves if they want them too. We are not running any intervention groups at all that cross/mix bubbles, and in fact not any at all in my phase. In other phases in my school the LSAs are 2m away from children when outside the classroom working with groups - all their tables got moved back to the 2m distance only yesterday in fact. They'd been creeping up towards the kids! I'd say that me and my LSA (she's a 1-1 support) are equally close to the children, but she is only close to her 1-1 and one other, whereas I'm close to lots of the class when necessary. She's late 50s, BAME and overweight, so I'm trying hard not to ask anything of her than would increase her risk beyond just being in school.

Only 1 of our LSAs worked during lockdown because of the unknown BAME additional risk, and at the time that applied to all other LSAs.

ComeOnBabyHauntMyBubble Wed 18-Nov-20 20:09:23

I'm a TA . When people say teachers i take it to mean school staff , for the good,the bad and the ugly. I mean , when people were berating teachers all over the place for months on end did you pop up and ask why no one is mentioning TA's and LSA's too?

I don't need a special mention.

Ginogineli Wed 18-Nov-20 20:27:06

I don’t get this I really don’t

If you don’t feel safe you are perfectly and legally entitled to walk out under the health and safety at work act and can’t be sacked for it

It’s perfectly legal if your employer puts you at risk and you can justify it

ComeOnBabyHauntMyBubble Wed 18-Nov-20 20:34:30

Ginogineli

I don’t get this I really don’t

If you don’t feel safe you are perfectly and legally entitled to walk out under the health and safety at work act and can’t be sacked for it

It’s perfectly legal if your employer puts you at risk and you can justify it


* Most staff in education, childcare and children’s social care settings will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain a distance of 2 metres from others.
PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases if:
•an individual child, young person or other learner becomes ill with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms and only then if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained
•a child, young person or learner already has routine intimate care needs that involve the use of PPE, in which case the same PPE should continue to be used
Education, childcare and children’s social care settings and providers are responsible for sourcing their own PPE. *

The gvnmt guidance. Hard to justify it when we're told over and over again we don't need PPE, just distance when possible,but its fine if it's not possible and it's fiiiine.

OpheliasCrayon Wed 18-Nov-20 20:40:33

I certainly mean school staff and I have said as much when I've started threads myself about teaching and schools.

I'm an SEN teacher and I would not be able to do my job without the 3/4 LSAs they have. They are absolutely invaluable to me and my job. I literally wouldn't be able to manage in any way without them. They're absolutely fundamental and I very much include them in being at the same risk as me. We all sit with the kids, carry out personal care, manual handling etc

midnightstar66 Wed 18-Nov-20 21:09:01

I work as a TA with a 1:1. I have to hold his hand when moving around, I have to sit directly beside him or sit him on my knee. He spits on me or screams in my face when he doesn't like what I've asked him to do. We are encouraged not to wear masks anyway but it would just give him something to grab when upset. I have to cover lunch for someone with another 1:1 who thinks it's funny to blow in your face. We are short staffed so I'm still having to deal with other dc doing first aid, changing when they've had an accident, comforting when they are upset etc. We are all just getting on with it but I do think the risk factor is huge compared to the job of teachers and SLT.

Moonlook Wed 18-Nov-20 22:01:46

Yes, I did in fact pop up and mention LSAs and TAs when people were berating teachers. I've mentioned it a few times. It just frustrates me a little that we are under the umbrella of "teachers". If you mean LSAs too, then say it. I don't feel like people are including us when they talk about teachers. Who cleaned up your child when they had a nosebleed? Who cleaned up your child's sick? Who was instrumental in teaching your child to read? Who flagged the 'always hungry' child as a safeguarding concern? Who got hit and kicked and spat on daily? Who stands out on duty in the freezing cold every day? Who supports your child emotionally? Who sits among your children and actually wants to hear their funny never-ending stories?

Yes, I want us to get a pat on the back! We don't really get any recognition, and we look after your children like they are our own, day in, day out.

OP’s posts: |
Kitcat122 Wed 18-Nov-20 22:10:06

27Ginogineli

I don’t get this I really don’t

If you don’t feel safe you are perfectly and legally entitled to walk out under the health and safety at work act and can’t be sacked for it

It’s perfectly legal if your employer puts you at risk and you can justify it.

The problem is its the government that says no PPE and no social distancing. I am a TA in a PRU I work with children who daily spit, headbutted, shout etc. No social distancing here it's impossible 🙅

Flowerblue Wed 18-Nov-20 23:17:34

My ta friend is now off with long term Covid. It’s so rubbish.

Northernsoulgirl45 Wed 18-Nov-20 23:25:20

I would treat TAs and Teachers the same tbh.
I always try to support you guys on threads and hate the way people fail to acknowledge that your working conditions aren't COVID secure.

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