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Old but not useless

What do you advise schools to do about pay rates for higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs)? There seems to be no clear pay structure.

Pay and conditions are generally still set locally. However, it seems likely that the big public sector trade unions will seek some national benchmarks as the work of HLTAs evolves, a move that the Government will try to resist. However, none of this helps your school's financial situation.

Those who determine school funding formulas, both nationally and locally, will have to take a view on how much schools will need to spend on their staffing budget, including HLTAs. To avoid doing so is to create the potential for chaos. At present, however, you will have to be guided by the local market and what you and your colleagues in local schools can agree upon.

If you have a question for John Howson, please email susan.young@tes.co.uk

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