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How Employable Am I as a Secondary TA or Cover Supervisor?

(31 Posts)
Verbena37 Sat 13-Aug-16 10:44:24

Hoping this is the right place to post this, as opposed 'going to back to work' section. I need some advice from head teachers/teachers if possible.

Until September 2014, I had been a SAHM for 11 years in a very transient lifestyle where we moved regularly. Before having my children I worked in admin.

In that time, I was a voluntary chair person of a preschool, volunteered weekly for two years in a primary school in KS2, including helping a child who had EFL.

I have a science based degree, an Access to Midwfery Diploma, was a trained doula and was a qualified breastfeeding peer supporter in local clinics and the postnatal ward in hospital.

Whilst volunteering at the primary school, I had hoped to start a GTP and had been accepted to train in another primary school but circumstances changed and I couldn't apply.

I started the midwifery degree three years ago but had to stop due to family circumstances.

In the next year though, I really want to go back to work, specifically in a secondary school, rather than primary.m I had thought about geography teaching but with my youngest being 11 and with him having additional needs, I feel training to teach isn't the best idea to begin with....although I wouldn't rule it out in the future.

How likely is it, if I complete the govt. approved Level 3 TA course, that a school would employ me with the above qualifications and experience....assuming I pass the interview like me etc? Is it possible to get a TA job in a secondary school without volunteering do you think?

Thanks in advance.

CandODad Sun 14-Aug-16 21:51:33

In answer to your cover supervisor question agencies just ask for a degree so you could go the route of registering with an agency, getting a feel for what schools you like and then getting your feet in the door that way. Don't know where you are but I know that TA jobs in Secondary are highly sought after and usually connected to specific children.

HerdsOfWilderbeest Sun 14-Aug-16 21:53:42

With SEN funding slashed, there are fewer TAs in secondary than previously. However, you could find a role. Go for it.

Verbena37 Sun 14-Aug-16 21:56:01

That's cool, thank you.
I've seen a few cover supervisor jobs at my local school (East Midlands) but they've been maths......not my fave!
If I see a geography or French one I might apply but thinking I might, after been away from the work environment for so long, go for a TA position first. I really like the idea of supporting SEND children at secondary level.

CandODad Mon 15-Aug-16 12:30:29

Hi, if your in the East Midlands try TeachersUK. The consultant I dealt with was wonderful and I had work coming out my ears.

Verbena37 Mon 15-Aug-16 19:45:50

CandODad....can I ask what job you do? Are you a teacher?
What do you to my quals and experience? Enough?

MaureenMLove Mon 15-Aug-16 19:59:39

I would suggest going down the route of TA or 'Intervention Assistant' as they are now called in my school!

The job of Cover Supervisor isn't as easy as the job descriptions usually says and you'll need some secondary classroom experience before you make that move I think.

I recruit Cover Supervisors and if I'm honest, I wouldn't employ you, but only because you don't have any experience of a secondary school setting. No other reason. If you could get that under your belt, then you'd stand a better chance.

PrincessHairyMclary Mon 15-Aug-16 20:01:32

I'm a secondary TA the cover instructors at my school will cover ANY lesson and whilst TAs are generally attached to a curriculum area if 1:1 TAs are away we could be used to cover them instead. TAs are also used to cover/lead lessons if they have a degree and are happy to when necessary.

There are vey few jobs and all school jobs seem to go through redundancies every few years so I would bare that in mind. I also don't think you are likely to get voluntary work in a Secondary School. You don't have to wait to complete a TA qualification to apply they will often pug you through it.

Our EAL TA has a similar background to you but she was a qualified teacher and did her TEFL qualification prior to travelling.

Prior to my appointment I had previously worked at a college as Sabbatical cover for a teacher and also administrator so had experience of similar age group. Many of my colleagues were SAHM prior to working so it shouldn't stand in your way.

Verbena37 Mon 15-Aug-16 21:44:46

Thanks PHM. That's good to know.
I have supported teen mums who are pregnant and breastfeeding and was a MIND volunteer, trained to support vulnerable and depressed young mums so perhaps that might help even though I don't have specific secondary experience?

PrincessHairyMclary Mon 15-Aug-16 21:50:58

The MIND stuff will definetly help, unfortunately there is a lot of MH issues, self harm etc in secondary schools.

You may be in a good position to support Health and Social/Child Care lessons etc.

I think the best thing you can do is apply for schools and put a lot of time and effort into your personal statement relating as many of your experiences to their requirements as you can. Mention any experience of Safeguarding, prevent training if you have it although you'll have to do it again.

Verbena37 Mon 15-Aug-16 22:03:50

Great idea. I'll get onto doing my personal statement and make sure I match up my skills and experience to what they're looking for.
Thanks again.

HerdsOfWilderbeest Mon 15-Aug-16 22:13:43

Well in that case, possibly pastoral mentoring would be a good option?

Verbena37 Mon 15-Aug-16 22:16:29

I would love a job doing pastoral care/mentoring. They don't, however, seem to come up very often.
I guess by going through an agency, they would contact me if they did.

PrincessHairyMclary Mon 15-Aug-16 22:20:21

An agency would allow you to work in lots of different schools, each one having its own culture and specific issues. My school is in a disadvantaged area With the related issues that brings whereas the school a bit further down the road is completely different.

HerdsOfWilderbeest Mon 15-Aug-16 22:22:29

You would need to build up experience but you could apply to be a non-teaching head of year. It's not all pastoral chats though - you have a hell of a lot of discipline/ parents/ liaising with teachers to do.

PrincessHairyMclary Mon 15-Aug-16 22:23:09

So you would be able to see which schools you like and increase your experience.

Once you are in a school it's easier to move around and permanent members of staff generally have less behavioural issues in class and build a good relationship with students than the agency substitutes who are only in for the day.

Verbena37 Mon 15-Aug-16 22:26:37

In September the , once I, sure DS has settled into year 7 ok, I'll stat planning it all and find an agency. There is a popular one in my area that covers both counties my town borders so there are plenty of secondary schools not too far away....and sadly ones in a city with lots of issues.

Verbena37 Mon 15-Aug-16 22:27:08

Oops, a few typos there...silly iPad.

CandODad Wed 17-Aug-16 23:01:04

Sorry for the late reply I only just saw your questions. I am a teacher but I have only just qualified, I was worried that at 35 I was going to be too old but it seems that people are looking for life experience as well as fresh from Uni. Before my PGCE I worked as a Cover Supervisor in secondary and I went to all the local schools, was awash with work when I wanted it and it fitted around my child care. Seeing lots of different school meant I was able to see which areas around me I would ideally like to work in. Some schools the agencies "consultant" had to beg people to work in where as others if I was in that school on a Monday I would ask if they were likely to need anyone the next day etc.

I have core GCSE's Grade C, A-levels, Degree in Business so sounds similar to you (in that its not education focussed) I thought there was no way I would ever be accepted onto a course without serious "re-education" first.

CandODad Wed 17-Aug-16 23:44:16

And just to counter a PP, I had no experience before agency work.

Verbena37 Thu 18-Aug-16 18:19:52

Thanks so much!
That's great to know.
So you hadn't had any school experience at all before you became a cover supervisor?

Perhaps I'll do the TA course over the next six months anyway.....just to get back into the education mentality and then apply to an agency, preferably for a cover supervisor role. When I almost started the GTP, I had so much knowledge about education, having put loads of effort in thinking I was going ahead to do it, that hopefully that too will stand me in good stead.

CandODad Thu 18-Aug-16 18:26:09

Nope, none. But be prepared for some real extremes though. One day being in a school where children have to have permission to sit down at the start of a lesson balanced against another school that was using porta-cabins and the children used to climb in and out the windows all lesson (with or with senior staff in attendance for 'support')

rollonthesummer Thu 18-Aug-16 18:33:54

The cover supervisors that I have met have no higher qualifications at all- possibly A levels but nothing else. They have to cover any subject- you wouldn't get just a geography cover supervisor. The pay was shocking though shock

Verbena37 Thu 18-Aug-16 19:42:04

Oh.....not even a degree?
That's interesting.
It's hard to see how someone without knowledge of every subject could cover any lesson. At my local school, they ask for specific cover humanities, science, maths, English etc. At the end of the job description, it says the supervisor needs to be prepared to answer student questions. If I was covering maths, even though I have a maths B GCSE, I think I'd panic! Although at that school, they tend to use other permanent staff if theyre not teaching. Perhaps in schools where only A levels are needed, they don't expect you to support the students with the work so much.....more just manage the class discipline-wise?

Gosh, thinking that would be hard. Hmm, I'll chat to a couple of agencies.

Verbena37 Thu 18-Aug-16 19:43:00

Was the pay hourly? Minimum pay?

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