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TA Job description

(22 Posts)
Verbena37 Sat 06-Feb-16 15:35:28

Does anyone know if this is allowed in a TA job description?

..must have an ability to reinforce the Christian ethos in school

The primary is a C of E.

LadyPenelope68 Sat 06-Feb-16 15:38:02

Yes, if it's religious based school they can stipulate that.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 06-Feb-16 15:45:05

Dh just applied for a teaching job with lots of questions like this. Supporting the Christian ethos/reference from a minister/leading collective worship

All perfectly legal

Shapebandit Sat 06-Feb-16 15:56:37

Yes of course. If it's a church school then it will be part of the role

spanieleyes Sat 06-Feb-16 15:59:35

Yes, it specifically doesn't say " must be Christian" but must be able to support the ethos. No problem with that.

Verbena37 Sat 06-Feb-16 16:13:30

Ah ok. I see spaniel.

Rainbowsurf Sun 07-Feb-16 20:55:13

It sounds like a perfectly sensible question to me. A TA would need to support the schools ethos. Was there something in particular you felt was wrong with it?

Verbena37 Sun 07-Feb-16 22:54:03

No, but when I thought about it, I tried to imagine myself, as a non-believer, teaching or supporting children at school. I can imagine myself teaching them what the Lords Prayer is, for example, but couldn't bring myself to say it in assembly. I wouldn't bow my head or clasp my hands etc. I think I would feel uncomfortable and hypocritical doing that.

A relative used to teach in a catholic school and I know she would do the cross with her hand and recite stuff.....but she isn't Catholic. Very strange I thought.

The thing I do find a bit weird is that the job description would never say 'must have an ability to teach history' or 'science'. Surely any school, including a C of E school is only supposed to teach the different religious beliefs.....rather than reinforce a Christian ethos? Surely it should be about reinforcing a moral ethos?

Verbena37 Sun 07-Feb-16 22:56:32

Sorry, that last sentence was wrong. I didn't mean they shouldn't reinforce a Christian ethos. I meant they shouldn't be teaching anything as though it's the absolute truth should they? Even in a C of E school?

Galena Mon 08-Feb-16 16:11:51

The job description doesn't say 'Teach the Bible as if it is fact'. I am currently a TA in a CofE primary. I support the Christian ethos of the school by:
Not telling children that Christianity is rubbish
Closing my eyes and listening to the prayers in assembly
Going to the church with the classes for Harvest Festival, Christmas service, etc.
Taking part in Spirituality Week at the local cathedral where the children had different activities to complete with volunteers

In fact, I am a Christian, but even if I wasn't, I would still be expected to do all those things without saying 'Oh what a waste of time!', etc. The children just need to see that you are supportive of the ethos.

Verbena37 Mon 08-Feb-16 16:55:30

Hmm, well I wouldn't be supportive in pretending to pray by closing my eyes during prayers. That's implying I'm praying hmm

Piratespoo Mon 08-Feb-16 16:58:18

You shouldn't work there then....that's obvious...and quite insulting to them.

Verbena37 Mon 08-Feb-16 17:01:07

I'm not working there or all,using to work there.
I don't understand why you think me not closing my eyes to pray (as an atheist) is insulting.

Verbena37 Mon 08-Feb-16 17:02:16

That should have read 'applying' not all using

Galena Mon 08-Feb-16 17:11:07

Closing your eyes, or looking down during prayers is not implying you are praying at all. It is simply showing respect. You could be going through your shopping list in your head or counting to 3000 in 13s.

Same way I would cover my head, remove my shoes, behave modestly in a temple, mosque, synagogue or gurdwara. Not because I am pretending to be Hindu, Muslim, Jewish or Sikh, but because I am respecting their beliefs.

KittyandTeal Mon 08-Feb-16 17:15:36

I'm an atheist working in a CofE (Anglican) school.

It basically means I'm willing to talk to them about God and Jesus without telling them I think it's utter crap, I teach them the prayers etc. I don't pray at school when someone else is leading but I do sit still and listen, it's a good way of teaching others respect.

I also refuse to answer when they ask if I believe in God.

The line I (and funnily enough to the only other atheist I work with) used in my interview was 'I find religion very interesting'

Verbena37 Mon 08-Feb-16 17:18:55

Bowing your head to imply you're praying whilst going over your shopping list is surely as hypocritical as it gets?
You are saying a non believer should bow their head to imply they're praying. I can respect someone else's belief in God without pretending to pray. At weddings or christening a etc I would sit with my eyes open and head up. Even at DS's C of E school, they say if you'd like to bow your head to pray you can or don't worry if not.

Anyway, my question was answered further up....I didn't mean for it to get into a debate.

LottieDoubtie Mon 08-Feb-16 17:24:06

Bowing your head is an example of respectful supportive behaviour.

The children aren't forced to pray but I would expect that they are expected to display these outward signs during prayers.

The school can create social norms and expect you to reinforce them. They are not dictating what you or the children actually think inside your own heads.

Just like I spend a lot of my working day reinforcing the school rule that pupils must wear their top button done up- doesn't mean I actually give a shit about top buttons!

Verbena37 Mon 08-Feb-16 17:41:54

I've just asked my child "if I asked you to bow your head and close/lower your eyes, what would you be doing?"
She said praying.

You can just sit quietly and listen without bowing your head /lowering eyes.

Myredcardigan Mon 08-Feb-16 18:07:40

I bow my head out of respect. I do not pray. They know I do not pray. When I visited churches in Rome I covered my shoulders and my head too.
You sound like your issue is that you object to anyone thinking you are praying which is a bit strange esp for someone who doesn't believe it means anything anyway.

LottieDoubtie Mon 08-Feb-16 20:36:08

OP just don't apply to this school - you don't support their ethos and you don't want too. That's entirely your prerogative, it's ok to decide a particular school isn't suited to you. It is fairly obvious why they would want staff who do though.

StuffandBother Mon 08-Feb-16 21:10:05

I agree, don't apply. There's no point.

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