Teaching Assistant Diploma Course Questions on Assignment Four. Explain the legal responsibilities of the school relating to the duty of care and the welfare of the child. All adults working on behalf of, or alongside children have a responsibility to keep them safe. Key people working in schools have responsibilities laid out in child protection laws. The Children Act 1989 states that the welfare of the child is paramount and sets out to detail what Local Authorities and Courts should do to protect children.
A school should designate a Senior Teacher with specific responsibilities for child protection, this teacher should be clear about what children are on the Child Protection Register & the key professionals involved with the family, the boundaries of confidentiality, and their training needs in relation to child protection. They should be clear about their role in offering advice and guidance to other colleagues who are unfamiliar with the child protection process. In small schools the designated teacher is usually the Head Teacher, however no one person should be responsible for more than 250 pupils.
Teachers have a duty of care to their students and as they have daily contact with them they are able to observe and detect any signs of abuse, neglect, failure to develop or changing behaviour. If a member of staff has any knowledge or suspicion that a child is, or has been suffering harm they must express their concern to the designated member of staff as soon as possible. All allegations should be taken seriously and the student involved should be informed that the information can’t be kept confidential and must be passed on to the designated member of staff in the school.
Discuss 5 important school and statutory frameworks that directly impact on the teaching assistants work with pupils. Teaching assistant need to be aware of all school and statutory frameworks affecting the content and delivery of the curriculum, child protection, health and safety and any other aspects of school life, especially the frameworks that directly impact on their own work with pupils. The first framework that directly impacts the teaching assistant is the Equal Opportunities framework.
The teaching assistant has an important role in ensuring that each pupil has equal access to learning opportunities. Teaching assistants are often hired to help individuals or groups of pupils to provide additional or different support in order to achieve equality of opportunity. On some occasions, under constant supervision from the class teacher, teaching assistants may be asked to work with the whole class so that the class teacher can focus on helping individual pupils who may be finding their work difficult.
The second framework a teaching assistant should be aware of is Health, Safety and Hygiene. This is a high priority in any school setting because of the importance of protecting any person in that setting, for example the pupils, staff or school visitors. Every school will have policies and procedures that outline the intensions to implement Health and Safety legislations and how to put these into practice. The framework and policies to be followed should be known and understood by all staff and parents.
The policies should cover such areas as the role of the Safety Officer, dealing with accidents, accident prevention and food storage. The third framework that has a direct impact for the teaching assistant is confidentiality. Teaching assistants must follow all policies and procedures outlined in the framework when it comes to confidentiality. This requirement covers information on colleagues and pupils and extends to communications with others in work related situations and social situations. The fourth framework is Diversity.
Teaching assistants should always demonstrate the values of every pupils personal, racial, or any other characteristics so that they can develop a sense of identity and build up their self esteem. It will also promote an understanding and appreciation of different cultures and religious beliefs in all pupils. The fifth and final framework is Supporting Inclusion. Some teaching assistants are employed with certain responsibilities to work with individual pupils whereas others are given more general responsibilities in the classroom.
No matter what responsibilities a teaching assistant has, supporting inclusion is a key element. A teaching assistant should aim to facilitate learning and participation to build confidence and self esteem as well as independence so that all pupils are able to fulfil their full potential alongside their classmates. Describe the teaching assistants role in helping to keep the environment for children safe, healthy and hygienic. The teaching assistant has a big role in helping the class teacher to keep the environment for children safe, healthy and hygienic.
The teaching assistant should liaise with the class teacher at the start of the lesson to determine what materials or equipment will be needed for the lesson. The teaching assistant would then need to ensure that the work environment is clean and safe and that all of the equipment is also clean and safe for the children to use. The teaching assistant must also make sure that the environment is equipped with a first aid box, fire appliances for example a fire extinguisher, smoke detectors and an alarm, and signs to mark fire escape routes.
The teaching assistant should ensure that all pupils that will be working in the environment are clear and understand the procedures and rules to follow in the event of a fire, the teaching assistant should also reiterate what the class teacher has taught the pupils with regards to this. The teaching assistant must also make sure that there are soft surfaces and safety mats for activity play, and ensure that that are all in good, clean condition. It is the teaching assistants job to make sure that the washing acilities are clean and that there are paper towels, liquid soap and nail brushes available to the children. The teaching assistant also has a responsibility to ensure that all the children wash their hands after activities and also clean their equipment. After the activities are over, it is the job of the teaching assistant to clean the environment making sure that it is clean, safe and hygienic. It is very important that all cleaning products such as disinfectant are kept in safe storage where they cannot fall and cause injury, and where the children cannot access them without the help of a responsible adult.
There should also be clean cloths for cleaning the learning environment before and after activities, and these should be cleaned thoroughly after use. By doing these tasks, the teaching assistant is ensuring a safe and happy learning environment for the teacher, pupils and also the teaching assistant. How would you carry out a risk assessment whilst organising a game of football in the school playground. A risk assessment is a careful examination of what could cause harm or pose a threat to children so that one can judge if enough precautions have been taken to prevent it.
Control measures are the procedures used to eliminate or reduce the risk of harm. To carry out a risk assessment the steps taken should be to check for hazards, deciding where improvements are needed and in what areas, developing a plan of action that specifies the actions required, the timescale for action, the person responsible for the action and any funds that may be required. A risk assessment should also ask questions that give a yes or no answer, but should also leave space for any additional comments or plans for improvement.
The questions should be devised to outline potential problems with the premises used, the equipment used by staff and pupils and the activities performed by practitioners, volunteers and children. There should also be a risk assessment checklist including things such as security, windows, doors and floors, storage, outdoor area, procedure for adults, hygiene, fire, first aid and medication. To carry out a risk assessment whilst organising a game of football in the school playground the teaching assistant must first check for any hazards in and around the playground, for example holes or uneven surfaces on the layground, broken glass, stones or loose gravel. They must then decide what areas need attention and develop an action plan. The next step is to answer the questions that the risk assessment asks, and make any further comments or observations and concerns. Then comes the checklist, every item that will be used for the football game needs to be inspected to ensure that there are no problems and that they pose no threat to pupils, for example, the football nets must be safe and secure to make sure that no harm will come to the children by using them.
Everything on the checklist should be up to the standards set in the health and safety legislation, this includes storage space, heating and lighting, footballs, nets, cones or markers, or any clothing the pupils, teachers or other people involved may have to wear. Once any hazard or potential threat has been identified they must be dealt with and sometimes this will happen in two stages. The first stage is to take immediate action to prevent danger in the short term and the second stage is to take more permanent long term action to prevent it from happening again.
Once the risk assessment has been performed and any hazards have been eliminated the football game can take place. What training needs may exist for a teaching assistant and how best might they be identified and met. A teaching assistant is always under the watchful eye of the class teacher and the line manager, who are key elements in determining what level of training needs are needed. The line manager is responsible for all issues concerned with teaching assistants including recruitment, induction, deployment, timetabling, professional review, training and performance.
The line manager also deals with concerns and day to day issues. Regular meetings should be held between the line manager and teaching assistant to discuss any problems or issues that the teaching assistant may be encountering, and the line manager will also keep the teaching assistant up to date with all school development. Decisions regarding a teaching assistants professional and personal development must be a joint agreement with the line manager. By meeting with the line manager on a regular basis a teaching assistant should learn how to form a realistic judgement of their progress and if any further training is needed.
There are many training options available to teaching assistants and by determining how much progress they have made it will determine what level of further training they need. DFES induction course are run by Local Authorities , they run induction programmes as well as additional courses covering a range of issues that are relevant to teaching assistants. Then there is Local Authority run training, most Local Authorities run a range of courses that teaching assistants have the opportunity to sign up for.
The next option would be school based training; this is training that happens in a school setting, the school should support a wide range of professional and personal development approaches including in-school training using the expertise available in the school. More in-school training could come in the form of distance learning such as Stonebridge college courses, or practical experience; working voluntarily in a school setting is a way to build up a good knowledge of what to expect in a school setting.
Involvement in local and national networks would also be a step towards further training. The final option would be long term training in a college or university studying towards an NVQ or degree. Talking to the line manager will help in determining the best option for the teaching assistant and how to go about finding more information on the chosen option. Discuss the teaching assistants role with regards to the promotion of equal opportunities and diversity. Teaching assistants have an important role in the promotion of diversity and equal opportunities.
A written policy for equal opportunities will help to ensure that equal opportunities are given to all children and their families throughout every aspect of the school. To provide a school setting that celebrates diversity and does not discriminate against pupils is to ensure that there are certain practices in place, for example ensuring that parental activities are accessible to all parents and children and that all activities reflect the backgrounds of all the families in the community. The way that adults treat children will have a huge influence on them.
To promote equal opportunities and celebrate diversity the school should aim to follow practices such as avoiding stereotyping. The way adults act can send strong messages to a child about the appropriate ways for them to act. For example, suggesting that it is ok for a boy to do something but not for a girl to do the same sends a negative message to the pupils and can restrict possibilities for future development by limiting their expectations of the roles they can play in life. All children develop misconceptions about various racial and cultural groups from the media and the society that we live in.
Therefore the environment that they are brought up in is an important way of helping to overcome stereotyping. Also, by treating every child equally a teaching assistant may have to treat them differently to other pupils so that they can adapt appropriately to meet their individual needs and characteristics. Making sure that children have equal opportunities to learn will help them to get the most out of life. There are also legal requirements relating to equal opportunities and to prevent discriminatory practice and the expression of prejudice.
The laws can prevent frameworks that make certain practices punishable but can’t change people’s attitudes. Children Act 1989 is a good example of a law that actively encourages good anti-racist and anti-discriminatory practice. The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 aims to stop gender discrimination. And then there is The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 which works to stop discrimination against disabled people in employment, and in the provision of goods or services. A teaching assistant is a big role model to children and by promoting these values it should encourage pupils to embrace these values too.