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Are non qualified teachers ie. TA's allowed to teach the class?

33 replies

scanner · 19/06/2008 10:52

We were told last week which teachers dc's will be getting next year. DD2 going into year 2 is getting two teachers, one fully qualified for three days a week and the other isn't qualified for two days. I presume this is allowed, but I am concerned about it. Does anyone know what the position is on ta's teaching?

OP posts:
Hathor · 19/06/2008 11:11

Is the "other teacher" a TA?
I think TAs can cover the teacher's preparation time, which is half a day a week, plus other times when the teacher is not in the classroom for whatever reason.
Whether this is a good thing depends on the TA.

coggy · 19/06/2008 11:21

An unqualified teacher is not necessarily a TA.
We have an unqualified teacher at our school who has been solely teaching a class for the last 4 or 5 years.
It is up to the HT's disgresion who to employ, and, I believe, they can employ ALL non-qualified teachers if they see fit!

TA's come in different shapes and sizes too....with different 'rules'!! There are various levels and an HLTA (Higher Level TA is generally considered to teach classes for planning cover etc. but usually when stuck anyone will do IME!!!!

We are lucky as we have EXCELLENT TAs but I know they get dumped on terribly to teach when out HT doesn't get supply for whatever reason.

mamablue · 19/06/2008 11:58

Teaching Assistants are allowed to take classes to cover the teacher's P.P.A. time (usually one am or pm a week). They are not qualified to teach no matter how experienced a teaching assistant they are. Schools use them because they are cheaper than supply teachers. I would not be happy with a TA taking my daughter for any longer than covering P.P.A. as they are not qualified to teach and my child would not be receiving adequate educational provision.

The school will do it if parents do not complain. I would write to the Head and the governing body and make sure that all the parents know what the situation is. It is not acceptable. TAs are excellent support in the classroom and can be invaluable to a teacher but should not be used as to replace a qualified class teacher.

littlerach · 19/06/2008 12:29

We have higher level TAs who do teach a class on occasion.

EachPeachPearMum · 19/06/2008 12:36

Is it a teacher who is doing their first year after qualification, so their NQT year? (don't know if this permissible btw, just a question)

nkf · 19/06/2008 12:39

I thought a qualified teacher needed to be around if there was a non qualified teache in the classoom.

RosaLuxembunting · 19/06/2008 12:42

Are you sure the school doesn't mean a NEWLY qualified teacher which is what NQT stands for. This is perfectly acceptable. DD1 has an NQT this year and she is FAB!

ZoeC · 19/06/2008 12:44

The only time I have heard the term unqualified teacher is when someone is on the GPT, it is their training year and they work as an unqualified teacher during that year.

popsycal · 19/06/2008 12:45

hello zoe

nkf · 19/06/2008 12:59

But if they are on the GTP, there should be a teacher assigned to that class too. They are training. I'd check with the school what they mean.

TheFallenMadonna · 19/06/2008 13:04

You can be an unqualified teacher - an instructor I think they're called - and teach a class. You get paid less than a teacher though.

ZoeC · 19/06/2008 13:12

Hi Popsy , how're things?

fizzbuzz · 19/06/2008 13:36

I seem to remember on our payscales there is something clalled a non qulified teaching salary or an insructor.

This was definitely used in a school I did supply in yonks ago. It was to teach a very specialised practical subject to some GCSE kids whos teacher had left, and it was the only specialist input they could find.

Yes, have just checked website, and there is a whole pay scale for unqualified teachers. I think they are mainly used in private education. Is it a private school?

shinyshoes · 19/06/2008 13:41

I'm a newly qualified Level 3 TA, (the one before a HLTA ).

I can cover PPA time, its generally going to the library reading books , changing books, reading them a story then talking about the story and other childrens experiences relating to the story. I'm not employed by the school, The have no jobs for me at the moment and no budget, but I watch the other TA's do this and I generally am on crowd control, 'X stop doing that Y stop playing hairdressers and listen, that kind of thing.

Thats the school I'm in anyway.

A HLTA is qualified in a subject normally, and will teach its like being a Teacher without getting the degree. These cover PPA time, but can charge more. TA's don't earn any extra.

Its bloody hard work to get to a Level 3 TA, and has taken me 2 years to get there and I hate it when people say 'not qualified' no I'm not qualified to take a class to teach but we can do fun things which are educational too.
The kids love a bit of funtime

seeker · 19/06/2008 13:44

I didn't think state schools were allowed to employ unqualified teachers to teach a class unsupervised.. Private schools can, though.

RosaLuxembunting · 19/06/2008 13:46

They are in exceptional circumstances in secondary schools, Seeker, but not in primary which is why I think the OP has made a simple error about the meaning of NQT.

mamablue · 19/06/2008 13:54

Shiny shoes. I did not mean to offend you by using the term unqualified. You are a qualified teaching Assistant but not a qualified teacher. I intended to clarify that TAs are not qualified to teach and should not be used in place of teachers.

shinyshoes · 19/06/2008 14:08

No my apologies, I werent getting at you, just in general alot of people think that TA's arent qualified and think that they are 'parent helpers' (nothing wrong with them either if any parent helpes are reading this).

No offence meant and none taken .

But you're right we aren't qualifed to teach. But are qualified to take a class during PPA.

mamablue · 19/06/2008 14:16

Shiny shoes, glad we have not offended each other

coggy · 19/06/2008 19:10

Seeker..state schools CAN employ non-qualified is up to the HT's disgresion as I said earlier.
We have one who has been teaching for several years...had a qualified teacher with them for the first year and that was that.

Unqualified teachers are on a different pay scale and I think you'd be surprised how many are is the Head's decision!!

mrz · 19/06/2008 19:26

coggy schools were allowed to employ unqualified teachers for periods up to 5 years but from September the law changes and this is no longer allowed.

"From 1 September 2008 the following people can do 'specified work' (the way that the law describes usual teaching activity) in maintained schools or non-maintained special schools in England:
? teachers with QTS;
? trainee teachers on mainstream or employment based routes to QTS;
? Overseas Trained Teachers who have worked here for less than four years since the first date they did so;
? instructors (Instructors are 'unqualified teachers' who the law allows to carry out the same duties as qualified teachers. Instructors can be employed:
? to give instruction in any art or skill or in any subject or group of subjects (including any form of
vocational training), where special qualifications or experience or both are required, in order to give such instruction. Examples include musicians and artists.);
? support staff (subject to their having the necessary skills and being supervised and directed by a qualified teacher)."

Whizzz · 19/06/2008 19:30

Interesting debate involving UNISON at the mo with TAs being used & abused ....
BBC story

mrz · 19/06/2008 19:31

Whizzz · 19/06/2008 19:33

we think alike MrsZ

Whizzz · 19/06/2008 19:35

Although I have to disagress with the last comment on there...

" teaching assistants are employed as unqualified teachers because they are cheap..... These unqualified teachers are not adequately trained to deal with challenging pupils, or those with additional needs.
Anon, Kent

erm - I'd say the TAs ARE more adequately trained than the teachers to deal with the kids with additional needs, although not neccessarily in a whoel class situation

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