Maintain staffing levels in schools

I appreciate that there is an ongoing and continual effort to reduce costs in schools, but there are too many cuts being made that are going to have a detrimental long term affect on the education of our children. 

The two main concerns I have are:

1) the loss of the qualified Teacher from Nursery facilities in primary schools. This teacher is vital for the planning and delivery of high quality education to pre-school age children. All experts would agree to the importance of Early Stage Education as being the building blocks off all future learning in schools and to underime this learning is unwise. It could be argued that not all children attend Nursery education but those that do should have access to Degree qualified staff. This is not intended to be disrespectful to the Nursery Nurses already in place who do a fantastic job with the children. 

2) The elimination (or at best severe depletion) of Visiting Specialists to schools should be stopped. These teachers provide benefits to all in the school, not just the children. They provide much needed McCrone time for already busy classroom staff,  provide a different perspective for the children and most of all, provide for subjects that require expertise above and beyond the norm. Many of the skills and services they provide for cannot, with the best will in the world, be replicated by class generalists. Such subjects include Music, PE, Science and ICT, skills in the latter two being in particular demand in the modern world and should be core subjects in schools and not considered as a 'nice to have'. Teaching these subjects are not skills that can be 'picked up' by teachers, nor taught in 'inservice days' and the subjects add richness, diversity and a knowledge that should not be lost to our children. 

Why the contribution is important

My ideas are important as they address an issue of 'wellbeing' in the schools. Schools should be able to deliver high quality teaching in all subjects, and not rely on unqualified (in a particular subject, not in general teaching) staff to deliver on curriculum subjects. Specialists should be seen as a vital part of school life, not as a 'nice to have'. 

Children need to be exposed to different teachers, different teaching methods, different ways of looking at the world that the Specialists can provide. It helps them become better individuals and learners and ultimately contributors. 

by vailamac on November 18, 2016 at 02:03PM

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Comments

  • Posted by Tarbolton November 23, 2016 at 14:13

    I would add that levels of class support (PSAs) should be significantly increased - at least back to their former levels. This should included lunchtime auxiliaries who can give the PSAs a break and so return PSAs to the classroom where they are trained to be. As we try to move our education towards greater inclusion and meeting the needs of all with the mainstream school, this support becomes paramount. Worthwhile inclusion can't be achieved without the appropriate support: the burden on teachers just becomes too much.
  • Posted by Lynnie0805 November 28, 2016 at 21:02

    I have found that the qualified and very skilled classroom assistants that we once have have left the position due to how they were made to feel devalued and deskilled! My current psa's do not have the qualification as my former psa's had and have less pride in the job and are less skilled... I think that there needs to be a psa qualification again which gives them some accountability ... I know this is not the case for all, but I think we need to undo the damage that has been done to how PSA's feel about their job as to be honest most of their day is spent out in the playground or supervising lunches... time in classes is limited and they have no time to plan and collaborate with staff and there are so few to be shared out between so much need that they feel there is no continuity and little job satisfaction as they rarely get to see one job through from beginning to end!
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