Posts Tagged ‘Learning Support Staff’

A Learning Support Assistant on the Lack of Government Support Given to Them

September 17, 2013

This is a comment by a Learning support Assistant on The Uphill Struggle’s Open Letter to Michael Gove, which I’ve reblogged. The Assistant gives their support to The Uphill Struggle and her description of the hard work actually done by teachers. They also describe how hard Learning Support Staff work, and their importance in teaching children. The comment begins:

I would also love to add here that the delightful Mr. Gove is also attempting to take away almost all the support staff within schools. If anyone here has had any experience caring for or attempting to teach a mainstream student, you can understand the difficulties you can face. Now a good few years back the rules of inclusion changed: and a vast amount of special schools closed down. These students who desperately need additional support are amongst mainstream students and are demanding on both support staff and teachers.

You take away the support staff, add an hour onto the day… You have an ADHD student who struggles to make it to lunch, with no one to manage his/her behaviour in an oversized classroom of learners. By the afternoon, most students are exhausted; not to mention those with disabilities which force them to put a vast amount of added focus into tasks. All these students look forward to is the holidays. Support staff don’t even get cushy pensions, as the chap below relished to inform us of. Sure we don’t have the marking to do, but we still care for the students and as such, take our own time to provide resources, most of which come from our own pocket! (just as teaching staff do [you try squeezing money out of the government for education-aiding materials deemed “non-essential”]’

There is much more. Again, from my own experience of talking to and studying with my teacher friends, Learning Support Staff’s comment is an accurate description of the problems teachers experience. This is the reality at the chalkface, contrary to the received opinion spouted by the ignorant that teaching is easy and that anyone can do it. The Uphill Struggle’s post ‘An Open Letter to Michael Gove’, is at
http://theuphillstruggle.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/an-open-letter-to-michael-gove/. Scroll down until you find it. There are also other excellent comments from other teachers and learning assistants. Look for the comments by Mrs Ann Seddon and KittyKat, who left teaching because of the demanding nature of the job. And there are many more. One commentator also describes how they know many teachers on antidepressants. Again, this has also been my experience too. This is the stuff that needs to be read before people read or listen to the comments in the Right-wing press or by Conservative ministers and their supporters on television about a profession in which they largely have never worked and with whose members they have neither sympathy or understanding.