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Supply Teachers need TAs

Lynne is a Secondary Teacher with QTS who is currently working in schools through Protocol Education in Bristol. Lynne thinks that the Think Tank responsible for questioning Teaching Assistant's impact of educational outcomes obviously haven't consulted supply teachers!

I have just returned from one of my sorties to the sun and what a pleasure it was to go into the staffroom on my return to supply teaching and find that I did not feel guilty because I have a tan. I am usually met with reproachful looks by teachers who palely loiter by the coffee counter. But it would seem that we have had enough sunny days for everyone to look glowing having presumably taken their paperwork out into the garden at weekends.

The reference to paperwork - though I suppose that it must have a different name these days when everything is done on laptops - reminds me that I read that there are plans afoot to reduce drastically the number of teaching assistants in schools. One of the reasons their number increased in recent years was to allow teachers to get on with teaching and not have to spend so many hours on paperwork. However, it seems to me that the amount of form-filling simply increased exponentially. The other reason it was deemed necessary to employ more teaching assistants was the closure of so many special needs schools and the individual support required for statemented pupils finding themselves in mainstream education.

It is for this reason that I cannot imagine, as a supply teacher, how some of my classes are going to function without the invaluable knowledge and help of teaching assistants. The government plan to axe their jobs is based on research by the think-tank Reform which claims that teaching assistants' "impact on educational outcomes is negligible." In the course of this research Reform evidently didn't consult supply teachers.

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Tags: Lyn, Secondary Teacher, Supply Teacher, Teach in Bristol, Teaching Assistants, Education Reform

Category: Australian Teachers

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