Discuss the training Requirements for Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HTLA’s) The role of the HLTA is to support learning for all children. Historically Teaching Assistants were none teaching adults who helped qualified teachers carry out day to day preparatory and administrative tasks and provide pastoral care to children (Calyton 1993). In 1998 the Local Government Chronicle published a summary of a Green Paper (LGC 1998) which outlined that a greater number of better trained teaching assistants would be more effective. In order to support learning for all children all support staff need to have a good understanding of how children learn. HLTA’s do not take the role of teacher but needs to have knowledge and understanding of how to work with individual and groups of children or in classes. Training is required to understand the responsibilities that are complex and the level of autonomy they have compared to other classroom support staff. The HLTA will have to take responsibility for tasks that are detailed and specific under the teacher of head teacher that is being assisted. Every HTLA will have different training and development needs as each will have existing skills, knowledge and experience they will need to be able to demonstrate competence in management skills to work and guide other support staff, in line with the schools and head teacher’s requirements. Understanding the curriculum a HTLA will contribute to the creation of education plans and timetables for children. Working in a pastoral capacity the HTLA will need to be able to contribute to healthy and beneficial relationships between parents/carers and the school. The training requirements for the HLTA include the understanding of the HLTA standards and qualifications. Numeracy and Literacy skills are essential in order to maintain the National Occupational Standards (NOS) STL6 Support Literacy and Numeracy activities, as a minimum understanding to NVQ level 2 in English and Math. Training should include development of skills and training in learning strategies in order to be able to adapt to specific learning needs of individuals and groups. To adequately support teachers and children the HLTA should develop skills and training in curriculum development and delivery. The HLTA should have knowledge and competence in the use of ICT and have the ability to demonstrate the use of basic ICT programmes, use of electronic communication, social media and accessing the internet. The HLTA will develop knowledge and understanding of Policies, procedures, regulations and laws specially relevant to education, working with young people and schools. The HLTA should be able to identify personal development goals and targets as well as have the skills, knowledge and experience to assess other individuals. Within the role of HLTA the development and maintenance of relationships at all levels is key to the enabling children and young people to develop to the maximum of their individual ability, encouraging them to higher aspirations and achievements. The HLTA will need know and understand the mandatory policies, practices, activities that promote inclusion as well as a working knowledge of the requirements of health, hygiene and safety in a school environment. What are the National Occupational Standards (NOS)? What Purpose do they serve? The National Occupational Standards were developed in conjunction with school leaders to give clear guidance and standards to describe the support staff role within the classroom and school. The standards set out what Teaching Assistants who are working at a higher level need to know and what they are able to do. Some of the elements of the NOS are applicable to other industries and commercial roles, these elements primarily involve development of staff identifying development needs and improving staff performance for business benefit. The clarity of the standards provides structure for a wide range of training...
References: Research Brief DCSF-RB0287 – ISBN 978 1 84775 111 9 Deployment and Impact of Support Staff in Schools Peter Blatchford, Paul Bassett, Penelope Brown, Claire Martin, Anthony Russell and Robert Webster with Selma Babayigit and Naomi Haywood, Institute of Education, University of London
Department of Education, National College for Teaching and Leadership, HLTA programme: Professional Standards
TDA, National Occupation Standards booklet, updated October 2010
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