Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1051/29410

From The Socialist newspaper, 31 July 2019

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.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 31 July 2019:


What we think

Boris, Brexit and British capitalism

CWI refounded with determination and confidence


Special feature

"The longest, darkest days of my life": fighting Universal Credit


Socialist Party news and analysis

Build a working-class movement to force an election

Labour promises to end council privatisation: councils must do that now!

Tories look in wrong place for climate solutions

Lib Dems: little bosses' party elects eager pro-austerity leader

Aristocrats are rich after all... and getting richer


International socialist news and analysis

Mass movement topples governor of Puerto Rico

Hong Kong: the struggle for democratic rights escalates


Workplace news and analysis

Lobby the TUC for workers' action to defeat Johnson

Northern Ireland: Harland and Wolff shipyard workers enter occupation

"Enough is enough": 20,000 Northern Ireland civil servants strike against pay restraint

Plymouth posties deliver defiant message to bullying bosses

"BEIS: stop pISSing about and give outsourcing the boot!"

Hackney transport strike - blockade foils employers

Sainsbury's distribution workers' second 24-hour strike against cuts to sick pay

Nottingham Deliveroo riders strike against unfair algorithm

Bromley library workers strike against running down


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Enfield: 100% council homes at Meridian Water!

Walthamstow shopping centre fire: people's plan - not disaster capitalism

Tolpuddle festival 2019: socialist policies to end Tory rule and austerity

Barking: campaigning over housing safety

July climate strikes: link up with the workers' movement

Ilford: parents and teachers unite against school cuts

Boris Johnson 'coronation' - demos say: boot him out!

The Socialist Party has moved!


Opinion

The Socialist inbox

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


 

Home   |   The Socialist 31 July 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Teaching assistants:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleMoney doesn't make up for cuts - education unions must organise for funding and against Tory attacks

triangleSchools unions must turn anger into a fight against funding catastrophe

triangleDay of action against cuts to special needs education

triangleValentine victory: School strike beats council cuts

Pay:

triangleHousing cuts cost lives

triangleAverage wages recover to pre-crisis levels - but we're still over a decade behind

trianglePCS union relaunches pay campaign

triangleUniversity workers' strike over pay, pensions and workload escalates

Low pay:

triangle6.5 million working poor: Fight to end low pay

triangleLow Pay, Long Hours. Bosses rip us off. Organise the fightback now!

triangleCleaners strike over low pay at Haringey secondary school

School:

triangleEast London school strikes against academisation continue

triangleHackney school bus workers win pay increase following strikes

Wages:

triangleWages flatline, while shareholders profit

Schools:

triangleEast London anti-academy strikes escalate

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

26/2/20

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

19/2/20

Film

Brilliant Korean film exposes class inequality

12/2/20

BBC

New BBC series - Insight or whitewash?

5/2/20

Liverpool

Liverpool council: "No more cuts" - Is Joe Anderson serious?

5/2/20

Socialist

Socialist Inbox

29/1/20

Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

29/1/20

Review

TV review: The Trial of Christine Keeler

22/1/20

Revolution

Robert Burns: of the people, for the people

22/1/20

Letters

The Socialist inbox

15/1/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

15/1/20

George Monbiot

TV Review: Apocalypse Cow

15/1/20

Food

Sustainable food production and the need for socialism

8/1/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

4/12/19

Socialist Party

The Great Big Socialist Party Quiz 2019

27/11/19

Plymouth

Plymouth Blairites side with anti-tenant landlords

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


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: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999