More support staff ‘doing teachers’ work’

11-02-2017

Increasing numbers of support staff are having to do teachers’ work by delivering lessons, according to a survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

The union said more support staff were having to step up to “plug the gap” created by teacher shortages.

The ATL’s survey of almost 1,000 support staff members found that when acting as cover supervisors, 78 per cent feel the work they do is identical to that done by supply teachers.

This is up by 14 per cent on last year’s figure of 64 per cent. While the role of a cover supervisor is to supervise pupils’ work but not teach, 72 per cent of respondents believe it is not possible to only supervise a class without delivering a lesson.

A higher-level teaching assistant in a secondary school in Durham said: “We are told sometimes with only five minutes or less notice that we are covering lessons.

“We are expected to teach students.”

More than a quarter (29 per cent) said they expected to fulfil the full range of a teacher’s duties even though they were paid at a support staff rate.


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