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Yr 1 - teacher absent - student teacher covering ...

(18 Posts)
skewiff Thu 11-Oct-12 21:19:54

DS has seen little of his Yr 1 teacher so far this year as she is head of literacy so out in other classes and also on courses a lot.

However, over the last 2/3 weeks she's been out for several days in a row- I am guessing she's been ill. Today I saw her in the school office briefly, but then was told that she'd gone home sick.

DS's class are usually given the student teacher and TA to look after them all day. But today, as the student teacher was away they were split into small groups and distributed amongst all the other classes in the school.

DS has a statement of SEN. The class teacher seemed really on top of his needs, but I am concerned that without her and without anyone really being in charge that his needs will be overlooked.

I am having a meeting with the head tomorrow to find out how long this is all likely to go on for.

Do I have a right, as a parent, to keep DS off school if I am unhappy with the provision of education? I would be happier teaching him at home until the school sorts things out.

Thank you.

lorisparkle Fri 12-Oct-12 00:28:29

I would be concerned too and think that a meeting with the head is the best way forward. I don't think you can keep him off school as it would be considered an unauthorised absence ie truanting. You would have to go down the route of home schooling if you wanted to keep him off school (I think - I am no expert!) If he has a statement this should say what he should be getting so I would look carefully at it and see if there is anything in there to help your arguement.

Hope your meeting goes well

3duracellbunnies Fri 12-Oct-12 06:52:27

I don't think having the student teacher in itself is a problem, dd1 had ours 2 days a week last year and dd2 had her once a week, she was excellent and they still speak fondly of her but haven't mentioned their 'main' teachers at all . A student teacher will probably be extra eager to plan a lesson as it will be being assessed etc.

Having said that I think it is fair being so early in the term to make sure that his needs have been correctly identified, all the staff are aware of his needs and how these should be met. In our school I don't think they have ever redistributed around different years, I guess possibly they might if it was snow and few teachers and students were there. They always get a supply teacher in, or in an emergency one of the higher level TAs or the HT would take them. Maybe discuss what would happen in that situation again and request that if they were to split the class again that he always goes to the same class, ideally with his old reception teacher who hopefully managed his SEN appropriately.

TempusFunghi Fri 12-Oct-12 07:01:45

You have a right to go in and ask what cover the school will be providing (as it is clearly inconsistent) but equally the sick teacher has a right to privacy and the head will not need to tell you how long this is going to go on for.
I would ask the senco how his needs are going to be met in this situation as they will be responsible for his overall provision.

skewiff Fri 12-Oct-12 13:57:10

Thank you everyone. I'm about to go to the meeting now.

I'll let you know how it goes.

cansu Fri 12-Oct-12 18:28:17

It isn't acceptable to have the student teacher be responsible for the class. It is also very unfair on her or him as she is supposed to be trained and monitored by the class teacher. I think that especially as your ds has additional needs you are right to ask some questions about the schools arrangements.

PenguinBear Fri 12-Oct-12 21:22:23

How was the meeting Op

skewiff Fri 12-Oct-12 21:43:32

I was assured that the teacher has been off sick and that she should be back by Monday.

Apparently she has had a wisdom tooth out and then came into school but vomited soon after, yesterday.

I didn't feel as though I could or should press to find out exactly how many days she has been away for.

Also because it seems as though things might be resolved I didn't press the point that it wasn't great that a student teacher had been left in charge. Legally I think a school can leave a student teacher in charge for as long as they like ... seems odd to me, but I have been told that it is legal.

I just made it clear that I was worried because the teacher understands DS's needs and is prepared to help DS in the best ways possible. I asked that if she was to continue being away that DS could have some extra help in the class room.

I think that I was understood.

mrz Sat 13-Oct-12 08:26:45

It is very normal for student teachers to be responsible for a class (it is part of their training) but it isn't usual for them to be used to cover a teacher's absence.

Makingchanges Sat 13-Oct-12 08:31:31

When I was doing my training I could be in charge of my class as part of my training but could not be used to cover teacher absence.

Feenie Sat 13-Oct-12 13:44:29

I am a bit hmm that you have been told confidential details regarding a teacher's absence - not sure she would necessarily appreciate them being posted on MN, either!

Wellthen Sat 13-Oct-12 16:15:36

A student should not be used to cover absence, they are not a qualified teacher and, perhaps more to the point, are not being paid! £100+ a day would be very much apprciated by any student Im sure but they cant legally be paid so instead they are exploited. It happened to me as a student and I refused as I was only in my second year and would have had to cover a full day which second year students dont normally do. I watched some of my fellow students, who didnt like to refuse, struggle with a difficult class and difficult parents for 3 full days. This is simply not on when the poor student is 19 and a long way from being qualified!

Even if the supply is not in the room, a student must have someone they can go to who is designated the class teacher. This could easily be covered by non-teaching senior management. Doesnt cost the school any money but also does not leave poor student in sole charge.

I thought there was a rule that every child had a right to a qualified teacher which is why TAs are only meant to cover emergency supply. Perhaps this doesnt apply to students.

mrz Sat 13-Oct-12 17:04:38

The Law says -

The Education Act 2002 refers to the School Standards and Framework Act 1998
(i.e. the duty to set a limit on Infant Class sizes) and substitutes single “qualified teacher” with the term “school teacher”. A ‘school teacher’ is someone paid under the provisions of the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document. Under Section 122 of the Education Act 2002 the Education (School Teachers' Prescribed Qualifications, etc) Order 2003 was made and defined that a ‘school teacher’

Qualified teachers,
Overseas trained teachers,
Instructors with special qualifications or experience,
Staff on an employment-based teacher training scheme,
Graduate teachers,
Registered teachers,
Student teachers and
Teacher trainees yet to pass the skills tests

^A 'school teacher' does not include teaching assistants, higher level
teaching assistants or other support staff.^

ninah Sat 13-Oct-12 20:30:02

I was a GTP student which meant that by summer term I was doing 80% of the teaching, paid as an unqualified teacher. The students made good progress, I put a lot into it and learnt a lot too. Student doesn't mean sub standard!

AbigailS Sun 14-Oct-12 11:09:44

Depending on the level of teaching practice maybe the student had been expecting to take responsibility for the class for the majority of the time? There is also the issue of the definition “under the supervision of a teacher”; it doesn’t mean the teacher has to be in the room and a teacher in a nearby classroom or a member of the leadership team could count as supervising.

As far as splitting the class, my school has been forced to do this a couple of times when we couldn’t get a supply teacher and there were no HLTAs available to cover. Maybe that was the case then?

mrz Sun 14-Oct-12 11:17:03

I covered for a week on my final teaching practice in the days before there were HLTAs

cansu Sun 14-Oct-12 12:22:10

I am a teacher and of course students take on responsibility for a class but there is a big difference between doing this under supervision of someone else and doing this because the teacher is away.

mrz Sun 14-Oct-12 12:32:45

as someone pointed out earlier being supervised doesn't equate to there being a teacher in the classroom. For final placement students I'm only in the room if they want me to act as a TA.

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