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If you think that teaching assistants should be paid more....

55 replies

noblegiraffe · 24/06/2023 20:14

There's a debate scheduled in parliament in a response to a petition to increase the pay of teaching assistants.

They've put a call out for contributions to the debate, it's a really short survey, with a free text box where you can write a longer comment. All are welcome to contribute!

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=nt3mHDeziEC-Xo277ASzSpMLsAawCSdBvMh9cdt5o9ZURFpIV0paQzUzVzFYSVU0TFRSUFlBMllVQy4u

Microsoft Forms

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=nt3mHDeziEC-Xo277ASzSpMLsAawCSdBvMh9cdt5o9ZURFpIV0paQzUzVzFYSVU0TFRSUFlBMllVQy4u

OP posts:
Pufflingpants · 25/06/2023 19:33

Thank you @noblegiraffe .
I have been a support assistant in a SEN school for many years. Just like mainstream, we are in crisis. Haemorrhaging teachers and staff. Those we do recruit, do not stay. Rolling adverts. No money. It is heartbreaking. And yet the lack of response here mirrors my own experience at work discussing the current ballot, bar very few. 😕.

Cookiecrisps · 25/06/2023 19:48

Thank you for sharing this survey and for bringing this he issue of TA pay to the attention of others. I have seen first hand how essential TAs are to supporting the education of all children in a class. I have worked with highly skilled and knowledgeable TAs who are paid a pittance for the responsibility and accountability they are given in schools. I personally think that many schools take advantage of TAs as cheap labour and it is unacceptable to see this happen e.g. a TA essentially doing the role of a teacher in a long term job share when at school, covering long term absences etc. In my school SLT pay TAs an additional £1 each hour they teach a whole class on top of their normal TA wage. This is grossly unfair.

Cookiecrisps · 25/06/2023 19:54

I’m just remembering Gove’s patronising reference to TAs as ‘the mums army.’ This perception of TAs needs to go (as does Gove.)

itispersonal · 25/06/2023 19:55

I've completed the survey. I am one of the luckier TAs as our school pays full time 52 weeks of the year of our salary band- we aren't pro rota which is an absolute rarity!

I agree TAs should be either paid more and it shouldn't be pro rota'd! Being a Teaching assistant is becoming more professional in what we are expected to do- we plan, assess, cover classes. Deal with the medical and emotional needs of the children - we have long moved away from just being a teachers helper and should be paid to reflect this! However the government needs to fully fund any pay rises so we don't have redundancies!

Giselletheunicorn · 25/06/2023 19:56

Omg, our TA is a godsend! My son has ASD and suffers high anxiety due to extreme sensory sensitivities. My son would have surely become a school refuser without her constant, and amazing, support.

AquaAndGold · 26/06/2023 09:11

Of COURSE they should get more pay.

BlackeyedSusan · 26/06/2023 09:18

noblegiraffe · 24/06/2023 21:21

What needs to be also made clear that if teaching assistants are to be paid more, schools need to be given extra money to account for it.

Because otherwise the outcome would be fewer teaching assistants and more redundancies.

Was just thinking this.

We had a lovely one who left and it's not been the same since.

AquaAndGold · 26/06/2023 09:22

Completed and shared op.

noblegiraffe · 01/07/2023 12:08

Bumping this as the request for information ends on Monday. Ideal job for the weekend to fill out it!

OP posts:
Bekindtoall · 01/07/2023 13:50

I have completed.

My son has SEN and his 1:1 is amazing!
she has brought him along so much, and helps him to be able to take part in activities that would otherwise be impossible.

The rate of pay for this role is ridiculous, this is a job that makes such a huge impact on the school and the children, and they should be paid a wage that reflects the important work they do!

RedToothBrush · 01/07/2023 13:57

noblegiraffe · 25/06/2023 16:34

Loads of people come on teacher pay threads to point out that teaching assistant pay is crap (and they are, of course, correct) so I'm a bit disappointed in the lack of interest in this thread.

Anyone with a child in school - schools are having real difficulties in recruiting and retaining teaching assistants because they can often earn more in Aldi.

Children with EHCPs which legally mandate 1-1 hours are not having that legal obligation filled because of a shortage of teaching assistants.

This is creating problems where children go unsupported.

Teaching assistants who used to be hired to do things like literacy or numeracy intervention - those interventions are going because schools cannot fund them. Class teaching assistants at primary are now non-existent or shared with other classes.

It's not just about children with EHCPs.

No one has money left to do much more with TAs than deal with kids with EHCP though. So saying that's what TAs do really isn't reflective of the job in many cases.

I know two experienced TAs who plan to either take retirement or go part time because their jobs have effectively changed and they are fed up of being hit, kicked or otherwise assaulted by SEN children who really can't have their needs met in a class of 30 with a single TA (there are multiple kids who need a one to one but don't).

The lack of appropriate schools for children who are otherwise fairly bright but can't cope with the stress of a large school and need a better adult to child ratio overall - not just a one to one - is the issue.

Not really TA pay.

It's about working conditions.

noblegiraffe · 01/07/2023 14:00

Please fill out the survey then, RedToothBrush. If the job has changed and the responsibility level is much higher then it definitely needs to be paid more.

OP posts:
BlissedOutCat · 01/07/2023 14:03

Completed and bumping.

CarpeVitam · 01/07/2023 14:14

Completed 👍

Harebrain · 01/07/2023 14:20

I’m an ex-TA. I’ve completed the form and shared it with all my ex-colleagues.

RedToothBrush · 01/07/2023 14:22

noblegiraffe · 01/07/2023 14:00

Please fill out the survey then, RedToothBrush. If the job has changed and the responsibility level is much higher then it definitely needs to be paid more.

What's the point?

Getting a pay rise just means even less TAs. Cos any payrise just comes out the existing school budget. It ends up being totally counter productive. I am terrified at what our head is going to say about staffing for next year. I know she's got a massive dilemma and she's not trying to recruit at least one more TA for next year when I know she will need one to maintain current levels. The staff are already at breaking point and DSs class doesn't just need one TA it needs two. It's massively affecting the whole class.

There has to be more funding. That's a completely separate issue. As much as TAs need to be better paid, there has to a bigger budget to have enough of them too.

Fight the right battles not one which only makes the situation worse not better. I do feel that fighting this battle along this premise will ultimately result in a worst outcome. You have to get it right otherwise the government just do a slight of hand job and dump the issue right back on Heads to sort out the headache and they get away with not actually changing anything nor taking responsibility for the mess.

It's a hiding to absolutely nothing to approach from this angle.

Danikm151 · 01/07/2023 14:23

I’ve filled it in. My son isn’t in school yet but I know from family how important a TA is.
without them teachers can’t support the whole class.
It’s pathetic that the gov keeps saying how much they’re investing in education but TAs are getting minimum wage pro rata

noblegiraffe · 01/07/2023 14:27

Getting a pay rise just means even less TAs. Cos any payrise just comes out the existing school budget.

Then tell parliament that?

OP posts:
AliceMcK · 01/07/2023 14:31

Done

The TAs in my DDs school are amazing, the school would seriously suffer if a couple of the key ones decided to leave. This year the school has run with no HT, part time skeleton staff, no bursar and this term the acting HT (originally deputy) has gone on extended sick leave the week after handing her notice in. The more long term staff are trying to keep everything ticking over in the office and showing a “leadership” face, all the while the TAs are running the classes and doing an amazing job. I’d seriously consider moving schools if one in particular left.

BeBraveAndBeKind · 01/07/2023 14:36

Thank you for sharing this @noblegiraffe@noblegiraffe
(sorry for the double tag, I can't delete it!)

DH is a TA for children with SEN and behavioural challenges. He's been kicked, hit, bitten, spat at more times than I can count and was recently assaulted resulting in two deep lacerations. And yet he keeps at it because he wants to improve the life chances of vulnerable children. He doesn't earn enough to pay tax and pays for all of his resources out of his own pocket. Well, my pocket actually because luckily I earn enough for him to be able to continue working in that job.

RedToothBrush · 01/07/2023 14:37

noblegiraffe · 01/07/2023 14:27

Getting a pay rise just means even less TAs. Cos any payrise just comes out the existing school budget.

Then tell parliament that?

Well quite. Instead of making time wasting questionnaires that make fuck all difference.

noblegiraffe · 01/07/2023 14:39

RedToothBrush · 01/07/2023 14:37

Well quite. Instead of making time wasting questionnaires that make fuck all difference.

It's a parliamentary questionnaire to inform the parliamentary debate?

OP posts:
noblegiraffe · 01/07/2023 14:40

In case of confusion:

"A summary of responses will be published on the Parliament website. It will also be shared with MPs and may be referred to in the debate or within other Parliamentary documents. Please do not share anything that may identify you."

OP posts:
SparklingMarkling · 01/07/2023 14:50

My sister left her TA position. She initially went into it because of the attractive term time working and her salary was just extra pocket money. She got fed up though as she was left with all the SEN kids, underachieving kids, covering classes, planning and marking etc.

She now works from home in a flexible job so doesn’t need to rely on term time working and earns double what a TA does. She said it’s wonderful being able to drink tea whenever she wants, go to her own children’s sports days etc and overall has much more energy and enthusiasm for life. Not to mention more £££.

It is a hideous job whereby only the minority respect you.

Gingerwarthog · 01/07/2023 14:57

Thanks @noblegiraffe
Have completed this. Teaching Assistants were unsung heroes during Covid and deserve a pay rise.

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