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Any TA here started out as a lunch time supervisor (aka Dinner Lady)?

(14 Posts)
Etah Thu 10-Jul-14 09:59:16

If so,
How long did it take to change roles?
Which qualifications did you have?
Did you do anything in particular in order to ' progress' at the school?


temporarilyjerry Thu 10-Jul-14 11:13:48

I teach in a school where, I think, most TAs have started as lunch time supervisors. They did their level 2 qualification while volunteering in a class, then gained employment before doing their level 3.

Why not speak to the head or deputy head about any opportunities in your school?

rollonthesummer Thu 10-Jul-14 12:01:23

All our TAs are mid day assistants as well.

Etah Thu 10-Jul-14 12:30:13

I already have a midday supervisor job due to start next Autumm term, level 2 qualifications and will finish the level 3 at the begning of next year.
There is a promise of progression but I am wondering how serious it is.
I am happy to do any other courses they send me to. I guess I just need to wait and see.

katykoo Thu 10-Jul-14 19:15:00

I started out as a lunchtime supervisor, studied my level two and volunteered two mornings a week. I then worked as a 'supply TA' for 3 months, just filling in when they needed me ( also with a promise of progression). I have just been offered a year's fixed term contract for next September, as well as my lunch time supervisor role. So there is hope for you OP!

BitchyHen Thu 10-Jul-14 19:44:42

I did. I was a lunchtime supervisor at my local secondary school, then I volunteered there for an hour a couple of times a week helping students read. I trained as a level 2 TA and volunteered two mornings a week as part of my course. However when I qualified I was told there was unlikely to be a job for me there so I applied elsewhere. I have been working in a Ks4 PRU as a TA for three years now.

It can be really difficult to get a paid job in a school where you are already volunteering. As you are working for nothing, management don't always value your work. You may have to move on to change your role.

Etah Thu 10-Jul-14 20:46:27

Thanks for all the replies.
My qualifications are in childcare and development so I am hoping to be sent on courses for TA, I would like also to specialise in SEN.
Yes, that is my fear of volunteering...being seen as a free helper and be stuck with few paid hours a week forever.
So a good balance for volunteering would be 1 or 2 hours a week?
I don't really mind changing schools tbh, but this one would be easier for me. However, looking for work experience in a state school environment and good references, training etc.

Any tips re not to get involved in school/staff politics?

My DC attends this school BTW. Hence easier for me to be there but awkward at the same time. Also I have her name in a waiting list for other school too, so really don't know what to do....actually I can just take the job and worry about this stuff as it happens.

katykoo Fri 11-Jul-14 20:22:39

To be honest, when I was volunteering (for 2 mornings a week) the head approached me and asked would I be willing to do more 'voluntary' hours. Turned out she meant 8 more hours! So I subtly told her I couldn't do it without being paid, hence the 'supply' TA role. I finished my course in May and have been working full days since then and was recently offered the contract for September. I think it helped that I had volunteered there so proving that I was dependable as well as being familiar with the school itself, and working there at lunchtime meant my crb check was done and I knew all the children and staff. It was an easy transition for me. Although all the lunchtime supervisors now call me 'Mrs Katykoo' and laugh at my crooked displays!
I know what you mean about the politics. I have two children, 8 and 10 attending the school, and they are quite well behaved ( maybe this helped me get the job as well)they ignore me when they see me at school! So, not the sort of children any teacher would have issues with. I live in a small village and know a lot of parents on a personal basis and often hear things in the staffroom that I would never repeat. I think you need to put on your professional head at school and get on with it. My daughter has had a few friend issues and I sometimes find it difficult to remain neutral but because I know and trust my colleagues I am happy to let them deal with it. Also it helps if you get one of those texts from other mums re playground spats because my reply is always 'sorry I can't get involved'
If I was you Etah I would take the job and see what happens, you've got nothing to lose.

Etah Fri 11-Jul-14 21:41:05

Thanks katykoo, you have been very helpful.

I think I will be ok with confidentiality and being in the same environment as my daughter. I was more worried about how other people would treat me/behave towards either a parent? colleague? member of the staff??
Also concerned about the other parents being jealous/bitchy as I know a few who would love the position and at least one who has tried in the past but apparently wasn't even selected for interview...

As for volunteering, I will apparently finish my shift at 2pm and will need to wait until 3pm so I will happily help there for 1 hour each day as it will be a lot better for me than walk home and back.

Which course are you doing and was it arranged by the school? Did you get funding?

Beautifullymixed Sat 12-Jul-14 18:56:50

I'm a TA in my ds's school and started as a volunteer. I went in four days (chose not to do Mondays) and worked my bollocks off.

My aim was to make myself indispensable and show what I could do. I created lots of lovely displays, jazzed up book corners, and helped out with anything and everything.

I learnt so,so much while I was there that I never once resented the hours I gave. The skills I learnt, the jargon,behaviour management and just being known as reliable and able to do a good job-all totally invaluable.

I was offered two paid hours a day to cover sickness,that led to three months temporary full time contract. Which led to a permanent contract smile

The headmistress was so impressed by me, she gave me a pay rise in three months, is paying for me to do my level 3 qualification online-I have to keep this secret as not all TAs get this. I am now first aid trained (extra money) and hope to do the HLTA qualification after.

I am a single parent and love that I can work,have no childcare, get to see my boys in the day and I bloody love my job.

I still work hard and often stay late. Help out everywhere. It's a job that is in demand and you have to show the school that you are what they need. Anyway you can. Quibbling about extra hours might mean someone else will be happy to step in and do those. Volunteers are plenty.

I wanted this job and went all out to get it. I smile every single day and I adore my class. I sing,dance and laugh-but my class know I mean business!


Beautifullymixed Sun 13-Jul-14 00:06:50

Oh and TAs are midday meal supervisors as well. Apart from the one to ones, we all do three set days each. No one comes in especially for lunch times.

Actually wish they did. It's the hardest-and noisiest part of the day!

Etah Sun 13-Jul-14 09:47:57

I am so glad I posted!
Felling much more confident now and looking forward to start.

I will be coming in for lunch time only, initially..hope my hours increase.

katykoo Sun 13-Jul-14 11:02:42

Best of luck etah and don't worry about what anyone else thinks! I am interested in doing my level 3 beautifully although will probably have to fund it myself. Which company is your course through?

Beautifullymixed Sun 13-Jul-14 12:53:55

After a very confusing search I went with My headmistress made the offer on condition I sorted it out.

Decided to do online ,so not away from my job and can do assignments as and when.

It seems the NVQ is being replaced by QCF Supporting teaching and learning certificate level three. This course needs 50 hours of placement. It was all very hard to find the most recent information -or else I'm a rubbish researcher grin

I'm over the moon that the school is funding it for me,because I know TAs that have had to pay for it themselves. My lips are definitely sealed about this though.

Good luck, you never know the school could do the same for you. Show them what you're made of!

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