Tina Bailey, Filton Avenue Junior School
I joined Filton Avenue Junior School (FAJ) in September 2009 as a level 3 LSA to work in year 4. During my first year, I completed the HLTA training with Best Practice Network and achieved the status the following year (2010).
Since achieving HLTA status, my role within FAJ has exploded. I have a varied and extremely enjoyable role which includes PPA cover, day to day deployment of LSAs across the school, performance management of LSAs and SMSAs, monitoring of interventions alongside the INCO, team development and training requirements, LSA and work experience placements, visual stress assessments (including photocopying SATs papers onto the required coloured paper for each pupil), completing the LSA policy and induction pack for new staff, inducting and deploying volunteer readers and running after school clubs (one being a homework club for year 6 students who required support for their SATs).
My own interventions this year have included year 6 SATs maths preparation groups where most went from a 2A to having the ability to achieve a high level 3, possibly a level 4 and two year 5 writing groups - 2C on entry from the Infant school - all of whom have improved and are now working at 3C.
I have continued to develop my role within the school, attending various training sessions including child psychology, effective deployment of support staff, Nessy (dyslexia programme) and more recently I have joined Best Practice Network once again, achieving an Award in Level 5 Leadership in April 2014. I still feel there is more I would like to develop within the school and as such, I have undertaken a year’s course to expand my knowledge of newly arrived children and EAL to best support the children to settle into their new environment and become effective learners. The course will also enable me to liaise with their families and set up a home/school link.
Julie Britton, Filton Avenue Infant School
Like most members of the classroom support staff, I began my career supporting children in the classroom. However since gaining HLTA status, in 2005, my role has developed greatly. I am currently:
- Induction Programme Leader for new staff and students
- E-Safety Officer
- Speech and Language Support
- Parent/Carers Support
- Support for CP cases
- Lead HLTA for Bristol Network Meetings
As Support Staff Manager, my first and foremost responsibility is leading a successful team of 25 TAs and HLTAs across two school sites. These responsibilities include timetabling, PPA cover, NQT support, performance management, training and development and supervision in EYFS. I have also developed an induction programme for students and new staff.
Whilst working closely alongside the SENCO we plan interventions that are specific to the needs of the children and those under SEND. TAs chose specifically for their skill set to deliver high-quality support to carry out these interventions. During these interventions, my role includes testing and evaluating the child’s progress both before and after the programme. Once the data is collected it is then passed onto SLT.
As the identified CP Parent Support HLTA, I work closely with parents who are under CP plans, this includes liaising with outside agencies to develop a trusting partnership between all parties. These may include attending medical appointments for the needs of the children and supporting medical interventions within our school. I organise TAF (Team Around the Family) meetings, identifying the needs of support that is required for these families.
As an E-Safety Officer, my responsibilities are to attend regular network meetings to gain further knowledge regarding how to be safe online. This knowledge is then shared with teachers who put these measures into practice. Holding three annual meetings to discuss termly e-safety lesson plans successfully puts these plans into place. Unique Voice, a local drama group, work closely alongside our school to deliver bespoke e-safety performances. In this digital world, it is vital to encourage parents and carers to become e-safety conscious.
Alongside my school-based role, I am a qualified NVQ assessor and mentor for college students, adult learners and school-based TAs. This led me to complete a level 5 Leadership qualification with Best Practice Network which has supported my professional development to the positions I hold now.
I value my roles as lead HLTA for the Bristol HLTA network as I work with schools across Bristol training and developing TAs’ roles and responsibilities, whilst sharing good practice through our shadowing programme. Most recently, January 2015, I was elected onto the board of HNAP, the national organisation for promoting and delivering HLTA status.
Helen Glanville, Victoria Park Primary School
I have been working at Victoria Park Primary School for 24 years. I started by volunteering as a mum and then progressed to working at the school. I was keen to undertake training for my new role as my previous career had been very different and my qualifications were in analytical chemistry. I attended the Specialist Teaching Assistant training followed by many other courses including Community Sports Leader Award, HLTA, NVQ assessor and Support Staff Team Leader training.
My current role is the Support Staff Training and Development Officer. This role includes many responsibilities including Team Leader for a team of approximately 30 TAs and HLTAs. It includes:
- organising, delivering and coordinating training for the team via weekly staff meetings and INSET days.
- coordinating Phase Shadowing for the team so that they can gain insight into other phases within the school.
- carrying out Performance Management meetings and reviews.
- observing all TAs and giving them written feedback.
- working with my team to develop performance descriptors to clarify our assessments when grading TAs. This work is ongoing and will be revisited regularly.
I am a Student Coordinator throughout the school. This includes supporting Teacher Training Students, TA students and school students on work experience as well as other volunteers. I am the Work-Based Mentor for all of our Teacher Training Students and carry out regular meetings with them. I also liaise with class teachers about the students’ progress. We accept a lot of TA students from local colleges and I coordinate their placements as well as work experience placements and other volunteers. Part of this role is carrying out their induction and checking that we adhere to our safeguarding procedures. This role was previously undertaken by the Deputy Head.
I am mentoring two TA apprentices each year which includes liaison with the colleges and supporting the students. I have recently accepted a role as Employee Ambassador to work alongside the college to develop the TA apprenticeships. I also mentor newly appointed members of staff and I cover classes for PPA two afternoons a week, as well as supporting pupils in Year 2 four mornings a week.
My role is ever-changing and growing. I will be less classroom-based next year so that I can spend more time managing and developing the team, as well as having non-contact for my other responsibilities.
Josie Wilkinson, Featherstone Primary School
HLTA Josie Wilkinson recently celebrated her school's success at the SGO National Summit Awards 2014 in the category of 'Outstanding Change4Life Sports Club delivery.' Josie gained HLTA status with Best Practice Network and the HLTA National Assessment Partnership in 2014, with PE as her area of expertise.
Since receiving the award Josie has been asked to be a Change 4 Life Coach and a Healthy Life Monitor for the other schools within the Kingsbury Partnership and her training will start soon! So, well done and Good Luck to Josie and Featherstone Primary School, Erdington, Birmingham.
To find out more about Josie and the Change4Life Sports Club delivery initiative, please view our news item about her.