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School Support Staff Industrial Action – A Teachers Message of Support – OPEN …but not for business

OPEN …but not for business

To whom it may concern,

I am a teacher employed to work at a Derby City School. I have been impelled to write to express my concerns about the current situation our valuable Teaching Assistant colleagues have been forced into. I have read that some, clearly uninformed, people within the Council have stated that schools in Derby are managing fine during the strike action with no Support Staff and Teaching Assistants. Our school may be open but their absence is having a significant impact on my job as a teacher and more importantly the education and welfare of our children.

I teach a class of 36 pupil premium children, often the most vulnerable children in a school who rarely reach their full potential, and often have significant emotional and welfare issues. My TA is a vital part of our working environment.

  • She is a role model, counsellor, carer, first aider as well as an educator.
  • She is responsible for delivering support programmes to children.
  • She delivers a spelling group
  • She marks work and encourages groups to produce the best they can As another adult in the classroom, there is another pair of eyes and ears to identify early misconceptions, and help remove them
  • She helps create Working Walls (visual supports for children)
  • She delivers our PPA cover
  • She has professional discussions with me which supports and enlightens my decisions about next steps
  • She completes admin tasks (printing, photocopying, slicing) that must be completed in order to teach, such as resources, learning objectives, success criteria. Perhaps not a huge task but more hours added to my already packed days.

My school is open, I teach well, my children make progress and the classroom functions but we are not complete. This week our children will not have had all the things listed above. Maybe you need to come into schools and experience the impact of these people on a daily basis, and therefore the impact they have when not in. I support their decision to strike and it breaks my heart to see them cry with guilt as they strike.

I need you to know and understand our TAs make a difference to adults and children, who miss out every day you ignore a plea to get round the table. I need my TA round a table with children, please get round a table with our TAs representatives. Children need these adults, for the sake of their education…talk and listen.

Yours sincerely

A Teacher


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