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Headteacher won't disclose qualifications of TA

(309 Posts)
AStreetcarNamedBob Sat 19-Mar-16 04:57:43

My son starts reception in January and it's a long story but the "teacher" is actually a TA

I've emailed the head master and asked to know what Mrs Xs qualifications are (ie QTS or NVQ level 3 or whatever)

He has refused to disclose saying that he won't discuss his staff without a good reason. Apparently the fact that my son is going to be entrusted to this women for 6 hours a day is not a good enough reason to be told her qualifications.

Would this surprise you? Does it seem an unreasonable question. The head is acting as shocked as if I were asking something personal like what colour pants she wears.

All I wanted was a response saying Mrs X holds a level X in early years studies or something.

icklekid Sat 19-Mar-16 05:50:01

I would focus more on what your concerns are with her. If you were happy then you wouldn't be asking about qualifications. Knowing her level of training isn't going to make you change how you feel. If it helps when all schools are academics no one will have to be taught by a qualified teacher!

Lovelydiscusfish Sat 19-Mar-16 06:33:22

What are you hoping to do with the information you get? Will you try to get him into a different school if you are not happy with her qualification? I think that's all you could do, tbh.

I wouldn't expect him to disclose this info about individual staff, but he may be willing to discuss his school's appointments policy in general (whether they have some unqualified teachers teaching classes).

But actually, you obviously know this anyway. I'm a bit confused as to her status in the school, from what you say - is she partly employed by them as a TA, and partly as an unqualified teacher? If she's teaching a class, she's not a TA in that class at that time, she's the teacher (and should be paid and recognised as such!)

How did you find out she isn't a qualified teacher, out of interest?

Branleuse Sat 19-Mar-16 06:35:54

youre not employing her. The school are. Its none of your business

Lovelydiscusfish Sat 19-Mar-16 06:36:44

Sorry, just read your post again - you think it is possible she has QTS? That would make her a qualified teacher. So if she may (as far as you know) have QTS, and she is teaching a class, in what way is she a Teaching Assistant? I'm confused!

DropYourSword Sat 19-Mar-16 06:43:26

Oh boy. Please be careful you don't turn into one of 'those' parents. The school obviously deem her fit to take the class. It's not really acceptable for you to ask this. Would it really make any difference? If so, and they aren't providing you with this information then you should probably select another school.

callitdelta7 Sat 19-Mar-16 06:45:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Sat 19-Mar-16 06:47:19

You are going to be an absolute joy in the staffroom for the next 14 or so years.

Actually, you probably already are.

The headteacher sounds fab, very professional and not prepared to be bossed around and told his job by parents.

Smilelikeyoufeelit Sat 19-Mar-16 06:50:22

A number of TAs in the school where I work have QTS but choose, for many reasons, not to teach. However, when they cover classes, which they do from time to time, they are paid as qualified teachers for those sessions. However, I doubt very much that the parents realise that the TA is actually a teacher.

NynaevesSister Sat 19-Mar-16 06:50:56

Wait a minute. Is no one here concerned that a Reception class teacher might not be a qualified teacher? I think it is reasonable to want to know whether your child's teacher is an NQT or QTS.

OP, is this an academy?

NynaevesSister Sat 19-Mar-16 06:53:16

By which I mean I would expect my child's class teacher at primary to be an NQT or QTS qualified teacher. I would be concerned if they weren't.

I can see the argument for specialist subject teachers not needing to be QTS qualified. But we are talking about learning French for example.

ElementaryMyDear Sat 19-Mar-16 06:56:28

youre not employing her. The school are. Its none of your business

Of course it's OP's business if her child is going to be taught by this person!

MyLocal Sat 19-Mar-16 06:59:52

So your son hasn't even started school yet and won't for nine months, and therefore may actually not even turn up on day one, yet you want the HT to disclose in writing his colleagues qualifications? Yabvvvvu, would love to know your "long story".

llhj Sat 19-Mar-16 07:00:21

How to you know she's not qualified? If you already do know, then why are you asking? Yes I'd be very concerned indeed but wouldn't waste time on cat and mouse questions. Write to governors immediately and LA if it's a community school.

But hey folks, these academies will be rolling this sort of shit out non stop soon and they'll be no one and no where to write to.

baddabingbaddabong Sat 19-Mar-16 07:01:36

Don't most schools publish teachers' qualifications on their website/staff list? Professionals usually want to advertise their qualifications - they aren't usually a state secret!

mrz Sat 19-Mar-16 07:02:22

You have every right to ask if your child's teacher hold QTS (if it's a state maintained school this is a legal requirement).

If it is an independent school reception class she must hold a level 6 qualification.

Perhaps rather than asking to know her specific qualification ask for assurance that she holds the relevant qualification.

ElementaryMyDear Sat 19-Mar-16 07:04:12

Get a friend to do a Freedom of Information Act question asking about qualifications of teachers who are responsible for classes at the infant level. They probably won't give them with names but it might get you slightly closer to finding out.

TonySopranosVest Sat 19-Mar-16 07:23:51

Why do you want to know?

Finola1step Sat 19-Mar-16 07:27:35

Are you in the UK?

PotteringAlong Sat 19-Mar-16 07:29:56

How do you know that's the school your child will go to? Places haven't been allocated yet.

NothingButAHoundDog Sat 19-Mar-16 07:38:00

Entirely possible scenario:
TA is a qualified teacher, but currently working as a TA. Could be for a variety of reasons, eg getting back into working in education after a career break, work life balance etc.
Headteacher has spotted potential in TA and has persuaded TA to return to teaching.
This can and has happened in my DS's school and I have no issue with it.
And FWIW I know crap qualified teachers and amazing 'unqualified' TAs. You need to think outside the box and question what's really important for your son.

Becles Sat 19-Mar-16 07:39:14


Get a friend to do a Freedom of Information Act question asking about qualifications of teachers who are responsible for classes at the infant level. They probably won't give them with names but it might get you slightly closer to finding out.

You really shouldn't.

When we get requests like this, we forward the job description for the role and say that the person was judged to meet the criteria during the recruitment process.

lborolass Sat 19-Mar-16 07:50:15

One o my children was taught by an unqualified teacher in reception. I don't think it was a secret but also I don't think all the parents would have been aware of exactly what qualifications she had. The HT must have been satisfied and there was a OFSTED inspection during that time and nothing changed afterwards so they must have been happy with th arrangements.

This was a few years ago so mayb things have changed a long as the person in charg of the class is doing a good job I personally wouldn't get hung up on the qualification.

I've never seen teachers qualifications made public, where does that happen?

AveEldon Sat 19-Mar-16 07:53:07

If it's a maintained state school then the teacher needs to hold QTS

mercifulTehlu Sat 19-Mar-16 07:54:54

It it not usual for schools to just give out employees' qualifications to parents, especially if there are no actual grounds for concern. As pp have said, just because a member of staff has worked as a TA, that doesn't mean that they are not a perfectly well-qualified teacher. Sadly, many teachers are taking low-paid TA jobs now, because they can't stand being teachers any more.

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