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How many teaching/classroom assistants are there in your dc's schools?

(48 Posts)
Polgara2 Tue 07-Oct-08 12:20:12

I am about to fill in an ofsted questionnaire as they are visiting dd2's primary school and in the anything else you want to say bit I was going to say I think there should be a TA for each class. There are 210 pupils and we have 3 TAs - 2 in infants and only 1 in Juniors. Then I got to thinking - is this realistic? I know of one school who has a TA per class but don't know whether this is usual or unusual iyswim. TIA smile

TheFallenMadonna Tue 07-Oct-08 12:26:55

We have lots of TAs, but most of them don't work full time. So for example ds's class has one who just comes in for the literacy hour. They are targetted. I like that. Not sure how many full time equivalents there are per however many children though.

FAQ Tue 07-Oct-08 12:27:24

oh gosh - they have loads at DS2's infant school.

180 pupils, 6 classes

9 Teaching Assistants
11 teachers (9 of which are part-time grin - but that's because they all keep going off and having babies - but come back part-time.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 07-Oct-08 12:30:32

Our school does not have a TA per class. Schools balance their budget in different ways and make different choices about how they deploy the money they spend on staffing costs - one formula is not necessarily better than another though.
For instance, a school might choose to cover all PPA time with qualified teachers but that would probably reduce the proportion of the staffing budget it could afford to spend on TAs. Obviously, a TA is much cheaper to hire than a teacher, but it is all about getting the balance right - an exercise some schools are better at than others.
It depends on why you think there should be more TAs in your school - do you think it would make learning more effective?

Catfeena Tue 07-Oct-08 12:30:48

at least one in each class - 2 in some classes

Polgara2 Tue 07-Oct-08 12:35:59

Well they do cover PPA time with supply teachers (or just retired ones from the school at the mo!). Also they do have these ex teachers (who I assume must be classed as supply?) coming in to do what I imagine TA's would do eg taking small groups out to do whatever literacy/numeracy/handwriting etc. But this is more recent because quite a few of the teachers retired in the last 2 years - before that there were not as many coming and going in the school day and I was a bit concerned that this might peter out when they get really fed up of teaching! I am not privy to the head's plans of course - am just making observations. So maybe they don't need any more then?

Polgara2 Tue 07-Oct-08 12:38:20

Thinking about it - each class doesn't have any extra help for the teacher ALL the time - these supply teachers are doing things like numeracy every Tues or whatever. Surely it would be more beneficial in a class of 30 to have 1 teacher and 1 TA?

FAQ Tue 07-Oct-08 12:38:55

Just looking at DS1's junior school - they seem to have less teaching/classroom assistants - approx 6 for 230 pupils. However it doesn't seem to affect learning at the school or the overall effectiveness of the teaching - it's an excellent school.

bigTillyMint Tue 07-Oct-08 12:42:42

Like Catfeena.

It depends, like LGP says on how the school chooses to spend it's budget. As it's quite a small school, they may have a bit less flexibility in the budget. Schools with more SEN / free school meals, etc get more money. And I think it depends on the Local Authority too.

Out of interest, why do you think there should be a TA in every class?

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 07-Oct-08 12:43:05

Having a TA assigned to a class all day is not necessarily using resources effectively. It sounds like they are using TAs/part time teachers to deliver specific learning activities which, if it is targeted properly, will be more useful to the children than just having someone 'helping the teacher' all day, regardless of what the class is engaged in.

singersgirl Tue 07-Oct-08 12:46:10

As LadyGP says, schools have to balance their budgets in whatever way works for them; the money they have available will depend on, for example, how senior their staff are - lots of NQTs are cheaper than lots of people who've been there 20 years.

Our school vision is to have a TA in every class, but we can't fund it as yet (2 form entry, so around 400 children). We are upping our HLTA numbers, as they can cover PPA time and also first day sick cover; I think we have 4 HLTAs right now, one of whom is a qualified teacher but waiting to go on maternity leave and another a qualified teacher choosing a different role.

I'm not sure how many TAs we have in total, as many of them are part time; some also double as LSAs for individual children for a certain number of hours a week.

Polgara2 Tue 07-Oct-08 12:50:46

I think maybe my judgement is being clouded by the fact that there are a few 'challenging' pupils in dd2's class that require a lot of the teacher's attention which must mean that everyone else gets a bit less? I don't know - like I say I am just mulling ideas over before I fill this questionnaire in.
Hmm, ok so each class must have different abilities in it - would having a full time TA not mean that more attention could be given to both more and less able children?
Thanks by the way, all this information is very interesting smile.

ghosty Tue 07-Oct-08 12:55:25

Teachers seem to manage ok without them in Australia
<<legs it>>

MollieO Tue 07-Oct-08 12:56:25

All of our local primary schools (age 5 - 11) had at least one TA per class when I looked round this time last year. Some had more but that was because of children with SN in the class. Class sizes ranged from 32 to 20 but the ratio (excluding SN) was the same - one TA and one teacher per class.

Polgara2 Tue 07-Oct-08 12:57:29

Really Ghosty - that's interesting - leg it back and tell me more!

Nemoandthefishes Tue 07-Oct-08 12:57:54

1 TA per class and then think there is one who floats between classes. There are 120 children per year[4 classes]

FioFio Tue 07-Oct-08 12:59:20

Message withdrawn

ghosty Tue 07-Oct-08 12:59:27

What would you like to know Polgara?

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 07-Oct-08 12:59:29

Message withdrawn

MollieO Tue 07-Oct-08 12:59:30

Should add that my sample was of our three village schools rather than the entire area!

imaginaryfriend Tue 07-Oct-08 13:00:22

Dd's in a Y1 class of 30 children and has a teacher and 1 TA although there also seem to be other people floating around so usually there are 3 adults in the class when I drop her off and pick her up but I don't know if they're there all day. Oh and there's also a special needs teacher always in the room for an autistic boy.

Seeline Tue 07-Oct-08 13:00:54

We have loads - over 50 (but many only work part-time) but it is a large school (21 classes, plus nursery) In reception there are often two TA's plus a teacher. All classes in teh infant section have a TA at all times - I'm not sure about the Junior section. They are brilliant!

Anna8888 Tue 07-Oct-08 13:01:56

Our school does not have a TA per class but rather allocates TA and support staff across the school?

Polgara2 Tue 07-Oct-08 13:03:48

Ghosty - well I guess how they don't need any? What are class sizes for instance? How do they manage without the extra support?

ghosty Tue 07-Oct-08 13:06:16

They don't have TAs in Australia but they do have 'specialist teachers'.
So I wasn't being entirely fair there wink
At DS' school there is a full time Music Teacher, a full time Art specialist and a full time Italian teacher.
So every week every class has Music, Art and Italian so DS' class teacher clearly has at least up to 3 hours a week non contact time. There is a full time Library teacher too but she shares the Library lesson with the class teacher who takes half the class of IT and then they swap.
But there are no TAs in the classroom assisting the teachers. DS is in the last term Grade 3 (Year 3) and has 24 children in his class (state primary school in Melbourne - N.O.R 520 from prep (reception) to Year 6)

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