triangleCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All keywords


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 1051, 31 July 2019: Force a general election

Search site for keywords: Teaching assistants - Pay - Low pay - School - Wages - Schools

Huge workload, low pay and unpaid hours - a day in the life of a teaching assistant

Teaching assistants are overworked and underpaid, photo by USAF/William Tracy/CC

Teaching assistants are overworked and underpaid, photo by USAF/William Tracy/CC   (Click to enlarge)

A teaching assistant in Wales

Teaching assistants (TAs) play such an important role in school life.

Our wages do not reflect the invaluable role we play in the education and welfare of all students. Unlike teachers, TAs are not paid during school holidays.

Wages are paid pro rata with money kept back each month so there is some left during the holiday times.

We are regularly expected to deliver lessons to whole classes and then mark the books. This is a significant saving on paying for a supply teacher.

Extra hours, but no pay

The TA, however, receives no remuneration for the extra hours worked or the extra responsibility involved.

TAs are responsible for the running of interventions ensuring all students are supported to reach the required levels of literacy and numeracy.

Welsh schools inspectorate Estyn closely scrutinises the running of these interventions during its visits.

To successfully run the interventions a lot of preparation, resources and planning of lessons is required.

Much of this is done outside of paid hours and often at home as no time is allowed in a timetabled day.

As TAs often live locally we are an invaluable connection between local communities and their schools.

The role of the TA is an increasingly diverse one. We support children with emotional and behavioural difficulties and are often the ones who form positive relationships and build up trust.

TAs prepare resources, work on displays around the school, deliver interventions, cover classes, fundraise, provide first aid as well as supporting all school staff, and often doing work to help the office clerk too. The majority are also dinner ladies to support their income.

We are expected to support many extra-curricular activities. These include concerts, plays, discos, school fetes, and trips as well as residential trips.

These can add hours to the working day but are all unpaid. We often feel pressure to attend, sometimes causing difficulties with our own family arrangements.

Dedicated TAs can work as many unpaid hours as those that are paid each month, making actual wages well below legal levels.

School budgets being tight (and due to be cut further) means many schools purchase the resources that are needed themselves. It's usual to buy our own files, glue sticks, staple guns and so on.

The TAs are the first to step in and make sure that a child on a trip is not left out when in the gift shop or at the ice-cream stall. We often bring in a PE kit or a warm coat from our own homes if a child is in need.

Unrecognisable

Many TAs ourselves are parents and came into the role to support our families. The role has changed unrecognisably in the last few years, but the wages do not reflect the level of commitment and professionalism the position now demands or the extra pressures it brings.

Low paid and overworked, it is easy for TAs to feel undervalued by teachers, head teachers and the governing body. It is no wonder many leave stressed and disillusioned.

TAs have taken strike action in recent years in Derby, Durham and Barnsley showing the anger and willingness that exists to fight back.







Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999