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Anyone a teaching assistant?

(31 Posts)
Lyndsay131187 Sat 22-Feb-20 11:30:34

Hello I am currently a primary school teacher and looking to become a teaching assistant. Wondered if anyone is a classroom assistant and how they find it. Obviously I know they are paid a lot less but does it fit in with family life etc. Do you enjoy it?

OP’s posts: |
NeverGuessWho Sat 22-Feb-20 12:50:52

I love being a TA. It’s honestly a joy of a job. I imagine the drop in salary would be a kick in the teeth, though, OP. But, if you can cope with that, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

My job fits in perfectly around my family because I work in the school my youngest DC attends. Tbh, if that wasn’t the case, so much of my very low wages would be eaten up with breakfast club & afterschool club fees, that it wouldn’t be feasible.

There is zero stress in my work life. Go for it, finances permitting!

LooseGoose29 Sat 22-Feb-20 13:01:32

Yes, but the job isn't what it was. The huge (most of the time appropriate and beneficial) inclusion culture means that not a week goes by I am not hit/kicked have furniture thrown ar me.
I am highly skilled in de-escalation, with additional training in nurture and emotional wellbeing and absolutely love my job, but being physically injured is very much an occupational hazard for a TA now.
I have been in schools where TAs straight out of standard training are put 1 to 1 with children like those I support and unfortunately are not prepared and end up getting injured on a daily basis.
With funding the way it is the days of a class TA running interventions, and supporting in class are on their way out.

Redlocks28 Sat 22-Feb-20 13:05:33

My teacher friend did this but was stunned by how low the actual monthly pay was. I think she took home about £600 a month. She went back to teaching after a year but dropped to 2 days which was still better money.

HarrietSchulenberg Sat 22-Feb-20 13:21:06

The pay is abysmal and is not a fair reflection of the work required.

You might find the transition difficult if you're working under the direction of a teacher that has a different approach to you. I've known plenty of TAs be upset because they think the teacher is"doing it wrong" when the teacher just handles a class differently to the TA. You would need to work under the teacher's direction without undermining them, which can be difficult.

The lack of stress is a huge advantage as you can leave the job at the door.

Pebble21uk Sat 22-Feb-20 13:47:50

This is what I did - taught primary for 9 years in the state sector, left disillusioned for a couple of years and have now gone back as a TA in the independent sector - and I love it!

The pay is terrible, but I love the job, the lack of responsibility, the time I get to spend with the children on an individual basis. I love that my role is a support role and nobody is looking to me to hit targets etc.

It works for me because my partner is the main breadwinner and because I enjoy the work (I'm a general TA in a Y1 class of 10 children!!) I also respect the teacher I work with and rate her highly, or I can see that might be difficult.

It's a world away from being teacher to 30 children - I feel like I now get all the nice bits - but only viable if you can take the income drop!

Lyndsay131187 Sat 22-Feb-20 14:29:02

Thanks everyone. I need to make between 800-900 is this doable?

OP’s posts: |
ItsHAVEnotOF Sat 22-Feb-20 14:35:02

If you did lunch duty every day you might earn that much.
Some of our TAs also run breakfast and after school club.

ineedaholidaynow Sat 22-Feb-20 14:35:57

In many schools I am assuming general teaching assistants are going to become quite rare due to budget cuts.

fedup21 Sat 22-Feb-20 14:39:20

Thanks everyone. I need to make between 800-900 is this doable?

Certainly not in my school.

Lyndsay131187 Sat 22-Feb-20 14:43:40

Oh dear maybe not an option then.

OP’s posts: |
jmh740 Sat 22-Feb-20 14:45:12

I just about make that as a 1:1 doing 30 hrs a week, 25 in class and 5 welfare, you might be able to do breakfast club or after school clubs. In my school general tas are on permanent contracts and do 15 hrs a week supporting maths and english they earn about 400 a month. 1:1s are on temp contracts my contract comes to an end in july when the child leaves school I've been at the school 6 years and been told that due to budget cuts it's unlikely I will have a role in September.

ineedaholidaynow Sat 22-Feb-20 14:47:26

Isn't there a National pay scale for support staff like there is for teachers? I know Academies don't have to follow this but I think most do. I thought there was going to be a pay rise for support staff but I think this will cause budget issues and fewer TAs

Lyndsay131187 Sat 22-Feb-20 14:48:03

I have seen a job advertised locally 830-330 Monday-Friday as a general TA.

OP’s posts: |
ineedaholidaynow Sat 22-Feb-20 14:48:57

Does it say what the pay is?

fedup21 Sat 22-Feb-20 14:51:27

What’s the salary, @lyndsay131187 ?

The problem is the TA job adverts are misleading; the salary quoted doesn’t sound too bad, but once it’s pro-ratad down to 25/30 hours (with no paid lunch) and 38 weeks-it’s actually pretty appalling.

HPandTheNeverEndingBedtime Sat 22-Feb-20 14:51:28

I've made the opposite move, I preferred TAing to teaching. As a Secondary school TA I took home just over £900. The real problem with being a TA isn't even the low pay, it is the in security becaus everytime budget cuts come around TAs tend to be the first ones cut. Of course you can always supply if you find yourself in that position. The hours themselves were fine, I couldn't do the school run but I got the holidays and evenings to myself as I didn't take work home.

Lyndsay131187 Sat 22-Feb-20 14:53:38

It’s prorata term time only

OP’s posts: |
Lyndsay131187 Sat 22-Feb-20 14:59:33

I’m guessing this isn’t the salary though!

OP’s posts: |
MyCatHasStaff Sat 22-Feb-20 15:04:53

I'm a HLTA. I only get a pay 'uplift' from TA rate if I take a class (usually on my own with no TA support) for the exact time I'm teaching - to the minute. I have targets to meet in my normal TA role, although not pay related, however I am at the top of my band with nowhere to go. I run a free flow nurture group at lunchtimes where I often have up to 45/50 children on my own, some of whom are there because they need someone to talk to, so there is competition for my time - it can be quite stressful trying make sure I get to those who need it most.
In class I have 3 chn with ADHD, 4 with ASD (two very high need) none of whom have a 1:1 so I am tying to juggle their individual plans (which involve reminders to go to the toilet, specific seating, movement breaks, medication, keeping a child with vestibular needs safe...and more). We also have undiagnosed issues and children from chaotic homes with severe behaviour issues.
I do actually love my job, but it is no longer a 'stress free' job. As the stress and workload on teachers has increased, so has the stress and workload on TA's. Budget cuts mean there are fewer of us trying to do more. I think as a qualified teacher you would find a position, but you'll be used as a cheap teacher. Most of my income is overtime, so doesn't count toward my pitiful pension and can be stopped (and has been) at moments notice. My contracted hours earn me less than £500 a month.
I'm not trying to put you off, the hours will suit you with a young family, but this is the reality of being a TA these days.

Cahu58 Sat 22-Feb-20 15:05:51

I work 37 hours as a year 5 TA over 2 classes and come out with just under £1300 per month. Been doing it for about 12 years after divorce, started on supply and the school asked me to interview for the job. I started on 25 hours then as my kids became older went full time. Where I am I find that in more challenging areas there are more full time positions advertised.

happytoday73 Sat 22-Feb-20 15:06:46

Some of our school TAs are very local & do childminding before or after school or both.
The before school seems to work best... £7 each a day for 5 children doesn't work out to bad for some cereal, TV or games time.

Lyndsay131187 Sat 22-Feb-20 15:10:32

Thank you. What grade TA are you?

OP’s posts: |
BercowsFlamingoFlownTheNest Sat 22-Feb-20 15:11:07

I'm about to start a TA course. I'm a nurse and want something that fits around ds as I'm single parent with no one to help out. The salary sounds rubbish but I'd get mine topped up with universal credit I think. I guess it's not a job anyone does for the money, a bit like nursing.

Lyndsay131187 Sat 22-Feb-20 15:11:25

Thank you for all of your replies lots to think about.
I’m currently a teacher but feel my mental health/ time with my family is really suffering.
I want more of a balance in my life but not sure what I can do with my skill set!!

OP’s posts: |

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