A question about Teaching Assistants

(7 Posts)
LudvigVonBeatles Tue 05-Nov-13 08:21:21

In the primary schools in England, is it usually for the main teacher to have a teaching assistant? Are these teaching assistants qualified to teach in any way or is it more of an admin role. Are there guidelines about this and do they differ whether in an Independent school or state? Does the government have rules about these assistants?

LIZS Tue 05-Nov-13 08:24:43

TAs don't need to be qualified but in practice many will have a NVQ/CACHE diploma Level 2 or higher or be teachers who have changed role They can teach pre planned sessions and cover ppa time but are primarily a support role in the classroom with the teacher. Not all teachers will have one especially beyond KS1 and even then they may be part time.

LudvigVonBeatles Tue 05-Nov-13 08:35:47

OK thanks. I was under the impression that they had to have a certain level of qualification or they were often teachers in training. I ask because at my previous Kindergarten there was a lead teacher, a second teacher (who was at a certain level of their teacher training) and then a 3rd teacher who was a language teacher. There were no more than 20 kids in the class. At my new school (not UK) there are 24 kids in the class and the TA's seem to be rather unqualified to help out in the classroom and the Teacher seems to have to do everything, spreading herself a bit thin. I am talking 4-6 year olds. When I have heard the teacher talk about the TS, they usually say something like, she used to work as a receptionist, admin assistant or was a tennis coach. I'm not suggesting that there is anything wrong with this, I just think that that is quite a high ratio for a Reception and K1. It is not 1:12, it is actually 1:24 because the assistant is just really doing photocopying and herding.

LIZS Tue 05-Nov-13 08:45:22

They often might be but they don't have to be. There are sometimes parent volunteers in the classroom too, unpaid and unqualified. I'm not sure in practice it differs much in UK , certainly not in Independent sector.

MadeOfStarDust Tue 05-Nov-13 08:48:06

our school is gradually doing away with TAs - we are down to one in each reception class and one who supports the whole of KS1. For a school with 400 pupils and classes of 30.... the ones who are there were mums who did their training in situ.. and are now qualified..

LittleSiouxieSue Tue 05-Nov-13 14:11:56

Many schools employ TAs to help classes with special needs children which is why there may be variations from class to class and school to school. Budgets will determine how much TA time can be afforded and Headteachers will decide on the deployment of the TAs to meet the needs of the children. Many schools will expect TAs to be qualified but independent schools can employ unqualified teachers and TAs. This is less likely in a state school. Parents also offer assistance and are not necessarily qualified and their presence varies greatly from school to school. Classroom admin seems a waste of TA time though.

LaQueenOfTheDamned Fri 08-Nov-13 14:39:35

I worked as a TA, roughly 7-8 years ago.

Back then, you needed no formal qualifications at all. You helped the teacher by usually supporting the children who were struggling a little bit, or had SEN. Or, you'd take down displays, or do photo-copying, etc.

I think nowadays, you do have to be working towards some sort of NVQ, to be a TA.

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