Get together with hundreds of teaching assistants, learning support assistants and HLTAs in the TES Teaching Assistant Group. Share your experiences in teaching support, get advice on TA pay and conditions from your peers and find a sympathetic ear.
I am hoping someone out there an give me a proper answer to this question.
I have been a TA for a few years now and i love it, I was employed as a Level 2 TA and that is were i have remained.
I have done the Level 3 training and passed with flying colours, but the one question that i never seem to be able to get to the bottom of is 'What does a level 3 TA do that a Level 2 doesn't do???
There are level 3 TA's in my school that I know for a fact don't do anything different to me. It makes my blood boil because it just seems as though it's 'If ya face fits'
Does anyone out there have a good answer to this question?
And do i need to mention the Fixed term contract senerio??
Well at my school you have to be a level three to work in the Reception class.We have level two and level three TA's at our school but I don't notice any difference in expectation.
At our school level 3 are with a child with a statement. They have to do all the planning for that child to help differenc their learning. We also have a level 3 that works as a learning mentor, planning, taking out and marking groups of childrens work. She works under the senco. All classroom tas are at levelk 1. Level twos are with children that have IPRAs, but are not as needy as level 3 children.
Level 3s in reception are just the old nursery nurses as they are now classed a level 3 teaching assistants.
It is the same at my school in that, those of them that did the NNEB years ago are now classed as Level 3 TA's. How ridiculous is that?
How can a nursery nurse have the same knowledge as a Teaching assistant who has done level 3 qualification???
I did my level 3 last year and it was all to do with supporting the childs learning, how to support children with additional needs and a big focus on Inclusion. That was only a little part of it, I could go on. I just want to know what part of the nursery nurse training covered these and other such issues?
poppy6 I did my level 3 last year and it was all to do with supporting the childs learning, how to support children with additional needs and a big focus on Inclusion. That was only a little part of it, I could go on. I just want to know what part of the nursery nurse training covered these and other such issues?
That would be the two-year full-time NNEB training, poppy6! It covered a huge range of topics particularly all areas of child development including physical, cognitive, emotional and social, special needs of all kinds (most of us did a specific Special Needs placement during our training which wouldn't be available to someone doing an NVQ based in a school without such a unit), lesson-planning, health issues and many, many more.
I am not employed, nor have I ever been, as a Nursery Nurse but I still, all these years later, am extremely glad that I had such a wide-ranging and professional training with placements in schools which I would not have experienced otherwise.
I think we need to be very cautious about making judgments about our colleagues - most of my mine who did the same training tend to share the feeling that completing and NVQ can't begin to compare to our training (over many more hours, I hasten to add) but I'm sure that this just reflects the fact that we don't know enough about that training.
You will find that many long-serving head teachers will still admit that they rate an NNEB qualification very highhly and it remains, in many local authorities, the first qualification listed as being appropriate for a level 3 job - please do not assume that 'Nursery Nurse' was a title for an unqualified skivvy - it was very far from it and I can well understand the anger felt by people in this role when it was lumped into a level 3 TA job - something they saw as a definite downgrade of their professional skills!
its a shame that you are so ignorant that you think a L3 TA is a patch on a nursery nurse , i studied to Btec Dipolma in Nursery Nursing and early childhood studies (a proff qualifiacation) we studied for 2 years full time which inclued 3 days a week in collage and 2 days a week in placement and you had to pass an interview and provide refference to be allowed on the course we had to study among other things child
development including physical, cognitive, emotional and speical needs , lesson-planning,
health issuse, psycology ,first aid , a lot of theory of different educationalist . policy writing ect it was a very intense course which has served me well ,i really dont see how a level 2/3 TA can even be considered in the same light when you think these TA course are open to anyone and only last about 20 weeks , 1 day a week with about 20 hours placemnt . i know this because i am mentor to them when they come into my workplace , how on earth can these TA's with the type of training and the lack of experiance compare with a nursey nurse no way i say .and its a shame as its the kids who suffer being taught by TA's who are poorly trained with a lack of understanding in educational theory etc its all about saving money and providing a poor service , in fact i would go as far to say its an insult to nursey nurses everywhere to be labeled L3 TA and be lumped together with TA's who have had little /poor training in comprassion and provide poor service nursey nurses are far superieor to a TA any day of the week . Most schools will employ a TA L2 because they are cheap and it saves money you get two L2 TA for the price of a goood nursery nurse thats the bottomline but as the saying goes you pay peanuts you get moneys long live the proff nursery nurse
Mzfabulous could I just add when I did my level 3 TA course 4 years ago it wasn't for 20 weeks, it was for the year. Yes I only had to do 6 hours a week in a placement for the year, and only attended college for 4 hours a week, however, the course work wasn't easy and very time consuming.
Well mzfabulous, you really do love yourself don't you, hence the name.
As for the tirade of abuse in your last post, i am disgusted that as a so called professional person,you can be- little TA's in the way that you did.
Every member of staff that works in school wether it's the Head, the teachers, the Ta's or the cleaners are all vital to the running of the school and deserve the same amount of respect!!! I don't dispute the amount of training a nursery nurse does, but surely the name of the job says it all. NURSERY NURSE.
So the next time you are scraping a TA off the bottom of your shoe, just remember that as TA's WE are professionals too!!
Oh and just to be picky, in your last post i spotted 9 spelling mistakes!!!
poppy6I don't dispute the amount of training a nursery nurse does, but surely the name of the job says it all. NURSERY NURSE.
poppy, there wasn't a job called 'Teaching Assistant' in my authority, at least, until around 2004 so the only accepted training course for people wanting to work in this kind of role (many different job titles, but I was employed as a Classroom Assistant after I qualified,) was the NNEB and then latterly the BTEC one - there were no TA courses and no NVQs!
As I said in my previous post, I have never been employed as a Nursery Nurse (there were no vacancies in Early years or KS1 when I was job-hunting) but I still consider my qualification to be as a Nursery Nurse.
You say that you don't dispute the amount of training a Nursery Nurse does but I responded because your post suggested that you didn't think they did do much training - or not relevant training, which is something some people think when they mistakenly believe that the job was some kind of nursing one! I am an HLTA and I certainly don't belittle TAs, having been employed as one since my job title changed to than in 2004! Interestingly, the only school support role which I believe should have automatically become an HLTA when that role was created was that of a Nursery Nurse in a separate Nursey School or unit where they already had responsibility for a whole group of children without the supervision of a teacher and carried the same duties as a teacher!
I agree that the tone of mzfabulous' reply was not pleasant but this is exactly what I mean about us being cautious when we make judgements about other people's roles - many of us will respond to implied criticism by going very actively on the defensive.
As to the difference between level 2 and level 3 TAs you must check out your own LEA's guidelines and job descriptions for school support staff - a level 2 TA should have less responsibility than a level 3 and there may be parts of the role which they are not allowed to cover: there may also be limitations on the number of children which constitute a 'group' for them to work with. Unfortunately, many headteachers are unscrupulous, and employ TAs as level 2 and then expect them to carry out all the duties of a level 3 TA. Please get in touch with your Union representative for advice if you feel you are in this situation as they can advise and support you in getting this sorted out.
at my school:
level 1 = general classroom support
level 2 = as above plus withdrawal groups (all level 2 TAs do at least 2 small groups)
level 3 = as above plus managerial responsibilities for a team, and responsibilities for assessment within their curriculum area.
it's all pretty clearly laid out for us. however, most if not all of our TAs have the level 3 NVQ...
the name was given to me by pupils ! not nursey age but ks3 ! i am well aware tht all staff are important as you say i couldnt agree more i ensure thatTA coming under my wing is treat with repect and do my utmost to help them with homework /collage work etc ,i have no beef with any indviduals after all we all take the training thats there when we apply to collage etc my beef is with the gov policies that chop and change under mining roles and robbing people of a decent wage hence TA /nursey nurse situation , it seems that a lot of people dont really understand the training or role as nursey nurse i dont work with nursey children i work in unit for ks3 kids who have severe ebd ,i know a lot of TA 's who are put upon and treated unfairly by headteachers who always want to pay as little as they can they dont really care what level you are they just want to save money which is why you have people employed at L2 but are expected to do L3 work in in turn is why nursey nurses get hacked off when some one who has done the min training/placement is considered as educated as them ,i mean a teacher wouldnt be too pleased either to be lumped with TA's just because they all work in the same building a, the differnce in training etc is noted here but in the case of nursey nurses and i might add that nursey education is where formal education starts and is the most important it is always undervalued by others who have know undersatnding of what goes on in the nursery and why.
I qualified as an NNEB
I qualified as an NNEB and now work as a HLTA. Can I ask you why you feel the NNEB qualification is less inferior to that of a level 3 teaching assistant? NNEB training consisted of 2 years full time training in every aspect of child develpoment from the ages of 0-7 ,We currently have level 3 qualified staff who committed to 1 day a week/month training to tick boxes for particular modules. NNEB's did not wish to be assimlated to the same level as a level 3 TA as we know our role is diversely more complex, specialised and unique. TA's are trained to assist in delivering the curriculum and concerned with ensuring children meet set targets to progress to certain curriculum levels under the direction of a class teacher. The NNEB is the class Teacher in certain learning environments with level 3 TA's working under their direction. The 2 roles are very different and through no choice of our own we were 'bunched' as 'school support staff' and therefore 'levelled'. My argument to you is how the hell can a TA have the same knowledge, expertise and specialised training as a Nursery nurse???? I agree your training may have been in supporting childrens learning including those with 'additional needs' and a 'big' focus on inclusion but the training of an NNEB involves the social, emotional, physical, intellectual and language developement of all children, whome eventually, with correct support will be able to access the curriculum as independent learners and possibly may need the 'help' of a teaching assistant to help reach predicted levels. My advice to you is to respect each professional in their role as child educator s and realise we all have one goal in mind and that is to ensure that every child, from whatever walk in life has the best education from those that care..
This is why I'm glad to be out of the school environment and no longer working as a TA. I was employed as a basic TA on £5.80 per hour, yet did over and above the work of a level 2. I took groups out on my own, worked with SEN, worked in all year groups from reception up to yr 6, covered classes in teacher absences, marked etc. I didnt have any NVQs - I was never given the opportunity to take them as the school always gave the training to younger staff. I have a degree by the way. What would that be equal to in NVQ terms? I also worked way over my normal hours and put in lots of work at home, all unpaid and unappreciated.
The underpayment and exploitation of school support staff is an issue that never seems to go away. It isnt in the schools' interests to make TA a profession, with the same rights/benefits as teachers. They simply couldnt afford this. If they had to pay you a decent wage, most of you would be out of a job. That's the way I see it. I know how hard many TAs work and what a fantastic job they do and it pains me to hear they still feel so unappreciated. I no longer work in a school. I know I am financially better off doing what I do now. OK, I dont have all the holidays, but I dont really miss them.
You've just about summed up everything on the behalf of how I'm sure most of us with a NNEB qualification feels.
What a disgusting attitude you have towards your fellow professionals, you talk about respect, well look it up as I don't think you know what it means, get off your soap box and get over yourself, you don't deserve to to work in our profession!!
By the way that was aimed at poppy6
all grades are task related. To be level 3 you will have some type of staff working below you or at times you will have sole control/authority over a small group or class. Get a copy os the single status agreement from your LEA for further clarification. You will not automatically be paid as a level 3 unless you get a level 3 job.
I am a NNEB Nusery Nurse and also trained as a level 3 teaching assistant you are so right, the job that people applied for, be it level 2/3 that is what you will be paid for. And for the people who moan and complain, if you applied for ajob as a level 2/3 teaching assistant you will be paid a level two or three post. Each school that we all work at, are differentand at the end of the day, it is all down to money and what the head teacher expects from us, so for all the people out there who are moaning you seem to forget with out these children it is simple, you would not have a job. NNEB/ LEVEL 2/3/4 if you want these status and to be recognised, ask your head teacher for further training if the school can afford it.we should all be prepared to wok above and beyound our duty for each child,
Top of page
TES Editorial © 2012 TSL Education Ltd. All pages of the Website are
reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell or exploit any material on the
Website for any commercial purposes. TSL Education Ltd Registered in England (No 02017289) at 26 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4HQ