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A fair deal for class assistants

Apparently we are to play a "complementary role" to the teacher, rather than be "para-teachers" ("Qualifications raise class assistants above 'pond life'", TES, September 22).

Oh dear. We do seem to pose a conundrum to those peering into the murky abyss of our job descriptions. So after all the hoo-ha of the higher-level teaching assistant, when we were only offered "status" and nothing more, we are now being offered another qualification. What I would like to know is: if we run our schools with a "national" curriculum and a national pay scale for teachers, can we not be offered training and pay that is similarly nationally structured?

By the way, if I was to compare the Government's treatment of teaching assistants to a pond life organism, I'd choose the water bear. This little chap has eight stumpy legs but moves very slowly.

Marian Colyer

Teaching assistant

Turnfurlong junior school Aylesbury, Bucks

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