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How typical is this of a school?

(15 Posts)
carpetbrush Thu 05-Oct-17 20:40:02

Hi,
So I work in an infant school where there are no full time TAs in any classes. 4 form entry school going from reception to y2. We have LSAs for those who need it but they’re often off doing interventions etc. So teachers are with 30 kids alone most days, expected to cover all the curriculum, with no let up whatsoever. And that’s not mentioning admin jobs like sharpening pencils, sticking things in books, displays and letters etc. It’s crazy and the children will make nowhere near the progress they should be.
Any other schools in this situation?
Also there are some pregnant members of staff and the lack of care or consideration is offensive. They don’t ask for special treatment but issues like sickness or pain are not acknowledged treated like a huge exaggeration. Staff just aren’t valued.

Is this typical of many schools or am I just in a particularly sad situation?

BackforGood Thu 05-Oct-17 22:51:52

It varies a lot, from one local authority to another.
Of course budget cuts are not helping anywhere.

leccybill Thu 05-Oct-17 23:22:08

Not the same, but I'm in secondary and truly feeling the squeeze. I have 9 mixed ability groups of 31. Every lesson has to be highly differentiated (by me), there's no TAs so I'm somehow supporting weaker and vulnerable students, all my own admin, data entry, displays, copying, behaviour management, detentions, etc.

It's the children who suffer because sadly the one thing I haven't got time for is planning.

I also agree with you about how staff are treated. Pregnant, poorly, stressed, whatever - you're expected to be performing at 100% all day, inc intervention at lunch and after school.

ThatCuteBaby Fri 06-Oct-17 16:35:45

Normal imo. All of our TAs are needed as 1-1s.

thebookeatinggirl Fri 06-Oct-17 18:01:50

I haven't yet come across KS1 classes in my LEA without TAs. I can't imagine how hard it must be. Most schools I know have organisational systems in place that mean you need a TA - book bags checked everyday, books changed and written in log books, number of 'reads' a week logged, interventions and 1:1 reading that has to be done every day with pivotal children etc, let alone displays, photocopying and resources prep - things that a class teacher simply hasn't time to do during the working day while in charge of 30 children.

I don't know how you do it, unless expectations are different.

That said, I'm finding that we have more and more children who really need 1:1 TAs - learning and behaviour - and who would have had support in the past, but who don't now, so class TAs end up doing a lot of the 1:1 provision.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Fri 06-Oct-17 18:10:56

I think this will happen more and more if the budget tightening continues. If Teachers are awarded a pay rise but no more money is put in the pot, that will be less TAs.

My school still has at least 1 per class, but there used to be more and as they leave they are not being replaced.

noblegiraffe Fri 06-Oct-17 18:10:58

It sounds completely crap. Is there any scope for asking for parent-helpers to come in and do some of the sticking/sharpening/listening to kids read or whatever?

MiaowTheCat Fri 06-Oct-17 18:13:22

I had reception/y1 mix with only a morning TA a good few years ago now but people were generally horrified when they heard that as it was unusual even then

ThatCuteBaby Fri 06-Oct-17 19:05:14

I haven't yet come across KS1 classes in my LEA without TAs. I can't imagine how hard it must be. Most schools I know have organisational systems in place that mean you need a TA - book bags checked everyday, books changed and written in log books, number of 'reads' a week logged, interventions and 1:1 reading that has to be done every day with pivotal children etc, let alone displays, photocopying and resources prep - things that a class teacher simply hasn't time to do during the working day while in charge of 30 children.

Yup. I simply can't change books every day. I have to do it on either a Friday afternoon or a Monday morning. 1-1 reading is a pipe dream. Lessons are like an obstacle course where I set work and race around 30 children trying to settle, challenge, support and teach.

A good, reliable parent helper is an absolute godsend although I don't particularly like relying on them.

showergel1 Fri 06-Oct-17 19:09:25

I've been without a class TA for two weeks. It's been awful. Once you've got a bumped head, nose bleed, hurt feelings situation you've lost any learning momentum you had.
I feel for you OP, I have a TA from next week.

carpetbrush Fri 06-Oct-17 19:18:48

It is actually really hard. Working with children but at the same time I’m sharpening all the pencils in the class. Parents asking about reading books and I physically don’t have the time! Having to think of independent activities all the time to keep the children focused enough so you can work with one group. Then all the needy kids who keep interrupting. You just find that the children suffer because you can’t spend time with them peacefully, you’re stressed; and so you’re short with the kids. It’s mad. No help whatsoever sad there is too much to physically do!

phlebasconsidered Fri 06-Oct-17 20:53:28

I have a one to one but she can't do anything to help me as the child in question is high need and a runner and biter. She's 80% not in the room.

I do everything. The slicing, the gluing, the wet paper towels on injuries, the teaching, all Marking, and no interventions because how the fuck? Apparently I should be doing them at lunchtime, according to my MAT. I don't even get the chance to piss or eat all day.

MrsKCastle Fri 06-Oct-17 21:00:35

I consider myself very lucky as every class in our (infant) school has a general TA for every session. Not the same one all week, but we do have support all the time. Plus almost every class has at least one child with 1:1 support, so most classes have 3 or even 4 adults! We also have time allocated for our interventions and a HLTA takes the class during those sessions.

So there are schools out there that harassment staffing, but I know they're few and far between.

roloisking Fri 06-Oct-17 21:14:50

This is why I left primary teaching. When I started teaching, TAs were unusual, but the expectations were different and, although we worked really hard, the workloads were manageable. When I left I was working 60 hours a week and still struggling to meet the ever-shifting expectations- a stint in supply did make me realise that not all headteachers were unreasonable but the damage was done. I now work as a Specialist teacher which has restored my love of teaching

tulippa Sun 08-Oct-17 00:03:17

Yep seems normal. I have a Year 1 class of 28. My TA has been moved to unofficial 121 duties for a boy who is too dangerous to have in class with the other children so she is out doing separate activities with him all day. This leaves me on my own with 27 children, three of whom also have significant behavioural issues and 2 others with other severe learning issues. I am an NQT who is doing her best but I am completely overstretched. I feel like I'm getting nowhere - currently I'm a shit teacher, a shit mum and shit wife. Because there simply isn't enough of me to go round. I think I will try my RQT year in a different setting (another school and KS2) and if it's still the same I don't think I can carry on in teaching.

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