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Are there any teachers that can tell me if this is legal?

(31 Posts)
nappyaddict Wed 29-Jun-11 11:40:52

DS' teacher has been off all this week. He is in a MLD school and the class is usually run with 1 teacher and 3 TAs. This week there has been the 3 usual TAs, 1 extra TA and the Y1 teacher from next door popping in from time to time, with DS' class being led by one of the TAs that is the most experienced. The Reception and Y1 classrooms are not open plan or anything, they are completely seperate rooms.

nappyaddict Wed 29-Jun-11 16:16:38

Sorry it's the assistant head that's popping in, not the Y1 teacher as I originally thought!

sarahfreck Wed 29-Jun-11 16:22:29

AFAIK, if the TA in charge is at a higher level and is "delivering" lessons planned by a teacher, not planning them him/herself then yes it is legal (as long as it isn't the norm), but I'm sure someone will be able to give you the definitive rules on this.

amistillsexy Wed 29-Jun-11 16:29:35

Yes, I think so (willing to be corrected!). AFAIK, some time ago, it was made possible for some experienced TAs to be 'upgraded' for a short time to cover for absent teachers.

If you think about it, is it better for your child's class to be 'looked after' by an experienced TA who knows them, the school rules and systems, and the work they've been doing, or by a new to the school supply teacher (or maybe 5 new supply teachers because they aren't always available for a full week's work) who knows nothing about them, their work or their routines.

To be honest, I think the school will have done what is best for the children. It is always disrupting for the children when a teacher isn't there, but continuity is helpful. The other teachers are most likely supporting the TA with planning lessons, dealing with incidents, etc.

They will probably have a better idea by now of when the teacher will be back, and will be making provision for the next few days.

Hope the teacher gets better soon!

mrz Wed 29-Jun-11 18:39:43

HLTA/TAs can "supervise" the class for a short time for unexpected teacher absence but not a week

HLTAs should not be deployed to work with whole classes for an extended period of time, i.e. beyond three days. WAMG

nappyaddict Wed 29-Jun-11 23:12:31

This is what I thought mrz How long can a TA supervise a class for? Is it different for a HLTA?

I am trying to find out if there is a HLTA in the class. I know the 3 usual ones aren't HLTAs but the extra one might be. There are only 2 HLTAs in the school so I am hoping one of those has been put in the class as I don't really want to moan but I will if a TA isn't really supposed to stand in for a week. They are off tomorrow though due to the strikes so it will be 4 days, instead of 5.

Kewcumber Wed 29-Jun-11 23:15:34

Our HLTA has covered for the teacher for a whole day (with another TS known to the children) before but I don;t think for any longer. definitely better for the childrne than a supply teacher in my opinion but not sure about a whole week.

mrz Thu 30-Jun-11 07:38:40

The Workforce agreement says HLTAs or other suitably qualified TAs can cover a class for up to 3 days in an emergency.

Ineedacleaneriamalazyslattern Thu 30-Jun-11 07:48:09

I can understand your concern but if it is only for the 4 days they are in this week is it worth really rocking the boat over. It does sound like the TA's are being supervised by a teacher and like amistillsexy says this is someone familiar and known to the dc's so may be less disruptive for them that a strin of supply teachers.
If it continued into next week and looked a longer term thing then I would probably feel I had to say something but really for one extra day?

nappyaddict Thu 30-Jun-11 11:02:11

mrz Do you think because they are off Thursday and there's a break in between the 4 days cover then, that would be allowed?

nappyaddict Thu 30-Jun-11 11:02:58

Also do you know what "suitably qualified TA" means?

mrz Thu 30-Jun-11 11:06:18

The head has to be satisfied the TA has the skills and knowledge to supervise a class. Technically they aren't allowed to teach only supervise.
I'm sure the school will be using the strike day as a reason to continue to use support staff to cover the class

nappyaddict Thu 30-Jun-11 11:14:26

That's what I thought. Because the 4 days aren't consecutive then technically it's allowed?

mrz Thu 30-Jun-11 16:01:23

nobody is going to make a fuss hmm

cat64 Thu 30-Jun-11 16:17:24

Message withdrawn

mrz Thu 30-Jun-11 16:22:51

We use teachers who are known to the school and the children rather than a supply agency for cover so it isn't disruptive or illegal

cat64 Thu 30-Jun-11 16:43:50

Message withdrawn

mrz Thu 30-Jun-11 16:52:27

I agree they should be paid if they are doing the job otherwise it is exploitation and too many schools use support staff to save money

nappyaddict Thu 30-Jun-11 20:51:41

DS has still been disrupted anyway because he has had someone else leading his class who wouldn't normally take that role and has had a new TA who he doesn't know. I don't think the disruption would have been much more if they'd had a supply teacher in.

"The head has to be satisfied the TA has the skills and knowledge to supervise a class."

Would they have to be level 3 qualified or could they be level 2 qualified and it still be OK?

"We use teachers who are known to the school and the children rather than a supply agency for cover so it isn't disruptive or illegal"

Do you think what DS' school is doing is illegal then? Or does having today off create a loophole?

TheOriginalFAB Thu 30-Jun-11 20:54:23

My son was taught for at least one full day by a TA but it was fine as she is a trainee teacher and everyone was still alive at the end of the day. Bonus being they all had fun and learnt something.

mrz Thu 30-Jun-11 21:08:16

the strike breaks continuity so it's a grey area.

nappyaddict Thu 30-Jun-11 23:08:12

mrz Would you say anything about it as a parent or leave it this time?

mrz Fri 01-Jul-11 07:40:31

I wouldn't make a fuss but I might be tempted to make a "casual" remark while smiling sweetly

mummytime Fri 01-Jul-11 08:38:27

Two other things. Are any of the TAs training to be teachers? As I have known a TA take over in these circumstances when they had reached a certain stage of their training. Also my DCs school has a lot of TAs who are trained teachers, but only want to work 9-3.

However it does sound as if neither of these are the case in your school.

nappyaddict Mon 04-Jul-11 09:33:46

I would imagine if they were trained as teachers they would be listed as HLTAs wouldn't they?

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