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Ta Situation...advice Needed!


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Hi all. I have had a nightmare day and need a bit of advice before I see my Head tomorrow. I am in Reception and this year I only have 16 in my class. Up till today I have always had a full time TA (although last year the class was bigger). Anyhow, I have just found out that due to a situation with another class my TA will be moved to that class. This will leave me with TAs in the mornings only and these mornings will be split between 3 different TAs!! One of these TAs only has KS2 expreience. Added to this, my Head takes my class one pm per week (it is a small school and I do 90%) and my old TA will cover my PPA time. This means that during a week my class will have me most of the time, the Head and 4 different TAs. It also means I will be on my own every afternoon. I am justified in feeling very cross? Are there others in Reception without TAs pms? I know I have a small class but they are only 4!! And in order to carry out the EYFS properly I feel I need 2 adults and for those adults to be consistent. I have been told that 'lots of Reception classes don't have full time TAs' and that the legal requirement is only 12 hours TA support. I don't want to kick up a big fuss unnecessarily, but at the same time I don't want my class to miss out.

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kathrynmc I think you are fully justified to be aggrieved and what does it matter if other reception classes don't have full time TAs?

 

 

I would go at his from the point of view of key person and attachment theory and if you want these children to settle and make progress they need consistency of adults at this very young stage. There are some good papers in the EYFS that are on the CD Rom you may like to show your headteacher.

 

Good luck.

 

Lorna

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I'm afraid the legal requirement is no TA time at all as the reception ratio is 1 adult to 30 children and Yes there are classes with 30 four year olds and no TA . It really doesn't help your situation but your head is quite within the law to withdraw all TA support

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the reception ratio is 1 adult to 30 children and Yes there are classes with 30 four year olds and no TA .

 

GOSH!! bless the children who have gone from 1:8 one week to 1:30 the next...added to that they may have just had their fourth birthday!!!

 

For some reason I've been thinking the reception ratio was the same as maintained nursery - 1:13

 

 

Can I ask (without hijacking the thread) why reception and nursery are different when I assume they are the same(ish) age range

 

 

Do they teach you magic at teacher training school?

 

 

I think the advice to go in from the child's point of view is good advice...and failing that let him do a week under these circumstances! The joys of cutbacks

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I know that he is within his rights to withdraw TA support, but I strongly feel that there should be 2 adults (and not constantly changing adults) in all Reception classes. To be honest, 3 adults in class of 30 would be better. How we are supposed to support play, etc, with just one adult is beyond me. I know that doesn't help you kathrynmc, but it makes me really cross.

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I would be desperately upset if I were you. I know others who have bigger classes with no afternoon TA support but I honestly don't think its possible to deliver the EYFS with only 1 member of staff. If you carry out an adult led task then you cannot support the other children, how can you begin to think of free flow with outdoors? Even if children just do child initiated play how is 1 teacher meant to observe, model, extend for all the children?!

 

I have a class of 30 and a full time TA and am so lucky to have a parent helper come in 4 times a week which is so useful to just have an extra pair of hands! Not ideal but maybe ask if there are any parents who want to come and play with the children.

 

Good luck! x

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I know that he is within his rights to withdraw TA support, but I strongly feel that there should be 2 adults (and not constantly changing adults) in all Reception classes. To be honest, 3 adults in class of 30 would be better. How we are supposed to support play, etc, with just one adult is beyond me. I know that doesn't help you kathrynmc, but it makes me really cross.

 

I don't think anyone who works with young children believes that 1-30 in reception is adequate and this has always been my main issue with EYFS.

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Hi Kathryn, I certainly thinks its worth trying to fight your corner on this from an attachment/stability point of view, but with the knowledge that the head isn't obliged to give you a full time TA with 16 children. I was in your position in my last job, with a class of 30 and no less than 8 adults in the class during the week, and sometimes it was just me. I never won my battle, but Id still argue the case if I were ever in the same position again.

 

One of the things your Head will be trying to do is look at the budget, it may well just not be financially viable to have a full time TA with 16 children, especially if there are no special needs and there are needs in other classes for which support is seen as essential.

 

But even so, a frank discussion with your head where you can state your concerns is still the way to go.

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Hi,

 

Your message has brought a few things to my mind. Marion has certainly given the facts. 1:30 is statutory (def needs changing, but is indeed the law at present) with the 1 being a qualified teacher - so the governors would have had to give consent for the TA to cover PPA!

I'm presuming your school is a one-form entry school?!

If you have a nursery, can your free-flow time be shared with nursery? You could do the small group sessions with your class and they could all free-flow together. This would work if the classes were close by - and ideal if you share an outside area.

If you timetabled adult-led and free-flow time carefully, you could both benefit - and could end up with a very healthy adult to child ratio!

 

I have quite a few friends who work in prep schools who have 1:12 without any additional adult in class. When I taught abroad, I had 20 x4 year olds without any support. I was just pleased it wasn't 30!!

If none of these options are possible, you need to carefully think out your continuous provision of activities. While you are taking adult-led activities, there need to be plenty of opportunities for child-initiated learning - mark-making area, dough, sand, book corner, etc etc etc.

I'm presuming you have direct access to an outside area - you'll have to position yourself very carefully so you can see all children and will literally have to have eyes in the back of your head!

 

It makes me realise how fortunate my setting is - 150 children (3-5) but 8 adults (very strategically placed!!!)

 

Keep us all informed on progress!

 

Fluffy Lamb

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Can I ask (without hijacking the thread) why reception and nursery are different when I assume they are the same(ish) age range

 

They are subject to Infant class size legislation which was in force before the EYFS was put in place - so the existing legal ratios(which are minimum ratios) were maintained as such.

 

Apparently when you get QTS you can magically support 30 children all at once by yourself.

Cx

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The reason given for reception ratios when EYFS was introduced was that it would take an act of parliament to change the previous infant class size ratios (which applied to reception ) which seems odd as it took an act of parliament to create EYFS.

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Thank you for all your advice and support. Unfortunately my Head was out today, so I was not able to discuss the situation with her. I have put my thoughts in writing and I am planning to give this to her and to the governors tomorrow. I have focussed on the impact on the children and the importance of consistency. I will let you know how I get on!

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Don't have anything to add about how to approach your head but wanted to say I was in a similar position last year - TA support changed a lot throughout the year but by the end of it I had:

 

29 children - 11 Year 1 and 18 Reception

 

A TA 1 afternoon a week and 1/2 of each morning but it was the same TA - prior to that which TA it was changed every other day. It was monumentally confusing, I was ridiculously stressed.

 

Sandwiches were also served in my classroom so I had to tidy away properly for the start of lunch and had about 10 clear minutes at the end to get set up again. Things are different this year and having someone around even for the first part of the afternoon helps - if (for various reasons) I haven't had time to do it at lunch. And wet dinner times - don't ask!

 

I couldn't do anything about the TA time as they genuinely were needed in other classes - behavioural and special needs support but it was hard.

 

That isn't very encouraging I know but if you'd like to send me a message I can give you some of the strategies I used to manage things.

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I couldn't do anything about the TA time as they genuinely were needed in other classes - behavioural and special needs support but it was hard.

 

This is what makes me so angry as if we get it right in EYFS there will be fewer problems as the children get older. I know all about funding etc but I also know that too many HT don't value the work of EYFS and the long term benefits of getting it right. I am sorry to any of you who are HT at present as there will always be the exception but this is such an important time and if Sarah Teather wanted to do anything to really close the gap then she should do something about the legal adult pupil ratio in EYFS and indeed KS1 but I will leave that for another battle!

 

Rant over!!!!!

 

Lorna

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Hi

Have been reading with intrest your posts about TA support and am feeling really lucky to be blessed with full time TA support in both reception classes and very qualified Nursery Nurses in the nursery. I don't know how we would provide a quality provision without them!

 

Can I suggest that you contact your local college. We have had a Nursery Nurse student for the past 3 years and they have proved to be an invaluable extra pair of hands. The tutor from NWK college in Gravesend dropped in today to finalise details and she mentioned that she finds it hard to find placements. Most people send the form back saying no.

 

The students come on placement for a few days a week and some block weeks. They start in Octo

ber and are with you up to that busy time of year Christmas!!! Of course the students do have be supervised and feeback on their placement is required. Their tutor visits regularly too. We have had some really lovely girls, one we ended employing and one who went on to teacher training. The last two years they have done their first year in the Nursery and then moved into the Reception class providing another tier for Transition.

 

I also use parent helpers who sometimes end up doing an NVQ in the hope of getting a TA job.

 

Just thought this might help, and I will keep reading to find out how you get on with your HT.

Teresa

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Thanks for all the advice. I am definitely going to look into a student, and have sent out an appeal for parent helpers. I haven't had any joy yet, still not sure whats happening, or even who is in my class on Monday. Today the school secretary was off sick so the TA who was meant to be in my room ended up in office, aaagh!!! Governors are meeting next week though and they are going to discuss the TA situation, so I'll keep you posted...

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I'm afraid the legal requirement is no TA time at all as the reception ratio is 1 adult to 30 children and Yes there are classes with 30 four year olds and no TA . It really doesn't help your situation but your head is quite within the law to withdraw all TA support

 

 

Does this ratio still apply whether the children are 4 or 5? My Head is under the impression that when they are 4, the ratio is 1:15. I cant find evidence of this and of course I do not wish to argue(!), but I thought it was 1:30 for reception as a blanket ratio.

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Does this ratio still apply whether the children are 4 or 5? My Head is under the impression that when they are 4, the ratio is 1:15. I cant find evidence of this and of course I do not wish to argue(!), but I thought it was 1:30 for reception as a blanket ratio.

 

I'm afraid not 1-30 if the majority of the class will be aged 5 by the end of the reception year.

 

http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.g...3b5bf0ec567.pdf point 11

 

Children in reception classes in maintained schools

The EYFS does not place ratio and qualification requirements on reception classes in maintained

schools provided they fall within the legal definition of an infant class (i.e. a class containing

pupils the majority of whom will reach the age of five, six, or seven during the course of the

school year)2. Such classes are already subject to infant class size legislation: an infant class

must not contain more than 30 pupils while an ordinary teaching session is conducted by a

single school teacher3. See page 17 of the Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation

Stage booklet for further information p51 of the statutory framework

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hiya

 

i do feel for you, and the children

 

i dont work in school but in a preschool and we have to have a minimum of 2 adults present at all times before ratios!

 

if we have less that 16 (1:8 legal, ) have to have 2 adults even if just one child (although this has never happened!!!!

 

we are lucky to work at 1:5 as we feel thechildren need it, my local school struggle with 2:30 to be honest.

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