In support of support staff

13th May 2011 at 01:00

I read with interest your report on the issue of using support staff as replacement teachers in classrooms, which was raised at the NASUWT's annual conference and is seen as an abuse which threatens standards of education (29 April).

It surely raises the question whether the teaching assistants referred to had a choice in the matter. Indeed perhaps the whole issue of support staff in schools and how they're deployed needs to be looked at.

Most support staff are female and have put careers on hold for their children, thus bringing invaluable skills and experience to a school. However, while support staff are widely respected and appreciated for their commitment and dedication, most are notoriously low paid, which is very morale-sapping.

Demoralised staff can be exploited. Often duties are allocated to them with no prior discussion as to the appropriateness, eg supervising pupils that have been removed from class.

School librarian who wishes to remain anonymous.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today