Researched and Written by David Watters
Working in Partnership – The impact of ineffective communication, collaboration and co-operation between Subject Teachers and Learning Support Staff upon the learner.
What measures should be taken to improve collaboration and ensure a quality of provision for students with special educational needs?
Since graduating from music college, in 1996, I have taught for numerous private theatre schools and have come into contact with children who possess varied special educational needs including, ADHD, dyslexia, dysphasia, hearing and visual impairment. In more recent years, I have taught singing for local comprehensive schools and have encountered students from every social and cultural background. Here I gained experience with EAL students and also a number with demanding behavioural problems.
My concern was that I lacked any formal knowledge of special educational needs or the methods with which to meet these particular needs. Professional Studies lectures, at Teaching Placement 2, were often given by Specialist Staff from the Language Development, Learning Support or the Inclusion Units. All who spoke communicated with genuine passion for their role and responsibilities within the school. I realised that I was well placed at TP2 to develop a better understanding of the professional knowledge and skills I might need to meet the needs of my students and have used the EBE as a means to acquire further skills and understanding in these areas.
There are a variety of factors involved in the academic development of children but one of the most influential is the learning context. The key factors that go to make up this learning context are both the physical and the social environment in which the learner is engaged in an activity. Classroom organisation and management, tools and equipment utilised and the social composition of the class all impact upon each learner. Prior learning, both formal and informal learning, also influences the way learners interpret new experience and affects their thinking. The most pertinent point here, however, is that since we learn from every interactive experience the quality of relationships between all of those involved, in any learning environment, is paramount. Since our academic development is influenced by not only what but how we are taught teachers and learning support staff have a responsibility to nurture a healthy alliance in order that all students may flourish. Vosniadou (1996, p.104) suggests that research is needed to improve our understanding of how cognitive processes and structures interact with environmental variables. According to her “cognitive psychology provided rich descriptions of what is learned but failed to provide fruitful hypotheses about how learning happens and more specifically about the environmental variables that influence the knowledge acquisition process.”
Communication is a key skill for educators yet I became aware that, although School X is staffed by a highly skilled teaching and support staff, the restricted opportunity for effective collaboration indicated that students may not be receiving the support they needed. I decided to make the focus of my EBE a consideration of what measures should be taken to improve collaboration between Subject Teachers and Learning Support Staff to ensure that the needs of students with special educational needs were being met. It seemed to me, on first impression at least, that the skills of many people working in the school were not being used to the best effect.
School X is a large multi-ethnic Girls (Mixed 6th Form) Comprehensive School , within the Borough of Greenwich which was given Performing Arts Status in 2000 and in 2004 also became designated as a Humanities College . Students are from diverse and, in some cases deprived, backgrounds. 39% of students are eligible for free school meals (well above the national average); and, students with statements of special educational need are also above the national average.
Inspection Judgements following an Ofsted inspection in April 2005 were favourable with most areas considered to be Grade 1 (Outstanding) and none below Grade 2 (Good). (Appendix 1)
“The Headteacher and staff are strongly committed to high standards and to convincing pupils that they can achieve” Ofsted Report (2005)
The report stated that, “lessons have clear objectives and a common structure, although these sometimes lack the detail needed to meet the full range of students’ needs.” but added that, “Teaching Assistants and Learning Mentors support students with special educational needs effectively by helping teachers to ensure these students make good progress.” Ofsted Report (2005)
“We have high academic expectations of all our students regardless of ability” Headteacher, School X
My role at School X was as a BT, within the music department, where I taught students at KS3 and KS4. Towards the end of this placement I took a position as a tutor within the Performing Arts Department where I then had the opportunity to work
with BTEC National Diploma students. Involvement across the entire spectrum of music education both curricular and extra-curricular presented challenges in terms of ensuring I could offer the best provision for all learners and consequently offered scope for accelerated professional development, with opportunities to enhance knowledge and skills, in areas regarding SEN and ICT in particular.
The major QTS standards which are addressed through carrying out my EBE, giving an oral presentation and writing this report are: 1.1 – 1.3, 1.6, 1.7, 2.4, 2.6, 3.1.1, 3.1.2, 3.1.4, 3.2.1, 3.2.4, 3.2.5, 3.2.7 and 3.3.13.
While co-operation between Education, Health and Social Services is essential to ensure the quality of provision for children with special educational needs, the issue of inter-agency collaboration has a long history of problems. In 2003, the Government published a green paper called Every Child Matters which prompted an unprecedented debate about services for children, young people and families and highlighted the need for “a national framework for local change programmes to build services around the needs of children and young people to maximise opportunity and minimise risk.” The paper argues that “the services that reach every child and young person have a crucial role to play in shifting the focus from dealing with the consequences of difficulties in children’s lives to preventing things from going wrong in the first place.” The Every Child Matters: Change for Children programme demands that all organisations which provide services for children “work together in more integrated and effective ways.” The key outcomes are for all children and young people to: be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution to society, and achieve economic well being.
In order to put the current situation into context it is important to look at the key political developments in recent years which have led towards the publication of Every Child Matters. The most significant document since the application of the 1944 Education Act was The Warnock Report (DES, 1978) which emphasised that “special educational need is of critical importance for all teachers.” Next came The 1981 Education Act which incorporated a number of Warnock’s recommendations and further defined special educational need and provision, the responsibility of ordinary schools in identifying, assessing and providing for children with special educational needs as well as highlighting the rights of parents to have greater involvement in the process of assessment and to appeal against any decisions made.
This then provided the basis for the Education Reform Act of 1988 (ERA) which introduced a National Curriculum in which all pupils were entitled access to a “broad and balanced curriculum“. Many teachers and schools expressed concern that there was insufficient guidance relating to identification and assessment and this led to the introduction of 1993 Education Act the Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of SEN (DFE, 1994) which aimed to extend the principles already existing in the 1981 and 1988 Education Acts.
Educational Reform, regarding provision for SEN students, has progressed steadily over the last 30 years and there has been an irrevocable social and cultural shift towards full and equal inclusion where SEN students are fully expected to access a broad and varied curriculum and all individuals are entitled to equal access to a full range of opportunities and learning experiences.
The resultant impact on the role of the teacher has been immense with particular implications for the development of professional partnerships with specialist support staff. Teachers must enhance their understanding of SEN and develop differentiated teaching strategies which maximise the support offered to all pupils.
This paper is concerned with the professional partnerships within School X and, in particular, the standard of communication, collaboration and co-operation between LSA’s and Subject Teachers. Where “good” or “bad” practice is in evidence the impact upon learners should not be underestimated.
Sally Beveridge (1999 p.115) writes that, “…all teachers are teachers of pupils with special educational needs, with a central role not only in their identification and assessment but also in developing classroom strategies to meet these needs. …teachers will continue to need access to advice, support and expertise to supplement and complement their own knowledge…”
Despite a consensus of opinion that inclusive education is a good idea there is no solid evidence that all children are benefiting. In order to maximise the effectiveness of SEN provision within mainstream schools the mutual roles and responsibilities of educational professionals must be clearly defined and acknowledged. Staff do not work in isolation and schools should have in place policies and procedures which guide and support effective teaching partnerships.
Liz Lightfoot wrote in the Daily Telegraph (October 2004) that “Inclusion policy is failing special needs pupils.” She highlighted that, “Too often they (special needs pupils) work alone on inappropriate tasks under the supervision of classroom assistants, instead of being included and engaged in lessons. In some schools they are taught separately by assistants in small groups, resulting in feelings of isolation, and in others they are put in the lowest ability set, with resultant damage to their self esteem.”
Writing in the magazine of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers Union (2004), Mary Warnock, who authored The Warnock Report (DES, 1978), said: “Such children will not, in any case, be well served if they are taught mainly by classroom assistants, or are removed into units isolated from their contemporaries.”
Although “within-child factors can have a significant impact on learning, the concept of special educational need which (Warnock) put forward was far more concerned with the interaction between the child and the learning contexts which the child experiences. (Beveridge, 1999 p.4)
The learning context of SEN students within mainstream education is complex and necessitates a shared responsibility between a greater number of teaching professionals.
In order to assess the quality of professional partnerships within School X and the level of communication, collaboration and co-operation, between LSA’s and Subject Teachers, a range of qualitative research methods were employed. I gathered data via interviews, questionnaires and informal observations. Before embarking I first had to understand the Whole School Policies regarding Equal Opportunities (Appendix 2a) and SEN provision (Appendix 2b). I then investigated the role of the SENCO (Appendix 3a), the LSA (Appendix 3b) and subject teachers (Appendix 3c) through specific discussion with staff members and through reading Job Descriptions obtained from the LSU’s HoD. Informal interviews, with the LSU HoD, four LSA’s, Music HoD and a sample of subject teachers, were useful in gaining candid and subjective insight into issues surrounding effective communication. These formed the basis for Questionnaires, given to twenty teachers and twenty LSA’s, which were issued to gather a sample of thoughts, feelings and professional expertise about the effective use of the teaching assistant’s time and skills (Appendix 4). Further to this, Lesson Observations were undertaken to detect any correlation between the perceptions of these professionals and practice.
Conduct of Research
Step 1: Analysis of the Equal Opportunities and SEN Policies
Both the Equal Opportunities and SEN Policies at School X are fairly standard with an overall aim being to “maximise achievement by ensuring equality of opportunity for all members of the community.” The principles contained within these documents (Appendices 2a and 2b) should inform all policies, procedures, structures, organisation and developments in the school and permeate all areas of the curriculum. To investigate the relationship between policy and practice the next logical step was to gain a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the pertinent players.
Step 2: Mutual awareness of Roles and Responsibilities
Although the roles at School X are clearly defined (See Appendices 3a, 3b and 3c) it soon became apparent that many staff seemed unaware and, worryingly, uninterested in the specific details of their colleagues responsibilities. This was apparent from the dismissive response, particularly from subject teachers, to questions asked during interview and as part of the formal questionnaire. None of the teachers knew the specifics of the LSA’s role and one commented, “Would it make any difference if I did?”
Job descriptions improve an organisation’s ability to manage people and roles by clarifying employer expectations for employee; providing a basis of measuring job performance, a discipline for a school to understand and structure all jobs and ensure necessary activities, duties and responsibilities are covered by one job or another.
Within departments there is a high regard paid by staff to their own role, in relation to the pupils, but there is an overwhelming disregard shown, by LSA’s and Subject Teachers, for the importance of collaborative teaching strategies. Evidence of this first came to light through informal interviews conducted with four of School X’s more visible LSA’s, the Music HoD and the LSU HoD.
Step 3: Informal Interviews and Questionnaires
Informal interviews, with those mentioned, painted a fairly bleak picture of a “them and us” scenario. At the outset of this research project the Learning Support Unit’s HoD seemed reluctant to share opinions, was concerned about who might become privy to the information given and stated that similar research had been carried out before and that recommendations had not been acted upon. Some subject teachers openly admitted to not knowing the location of the LSU or the names of colleagues within this department, including those regularly working alongside themselves.
To call these relationships “Teaching Partnerships” is somewhat of a misnomer and to even intimate a “relationship” at all is often far from the reality. Of the four LSA’s interviewed all expressed an eagerness to participate in joint planning and to have input in the assessment of SEN students but viewed the possibility as relatively futile. These responses guided the wording and design of a Questionnaire (Appendix 4) which was given, initially, to a sample of 20 LSA’s and 20 Subject Teacher’s. This strategy was employed as a means of gathering a cross-sample of perceptions and was intended to form the basis of recommendations for improved practice.
The perceived advantages of the questionnaire were that more detail could be gathered and, the option of anonymity would encourage greater candour. Unfortunately, for this author, the response was extremely discouraging. Only one Subject Teacher initially completed the questionnaire and it took more than a month, and repeated visits to the LSU, before I felt fully supported. LSU staff were friendly and wanted to assist but were cautious about the information they were willing to share. Eventually I did receive 16 completed questionnaires from LSA’s. At the time of writing only 4 Subject Teacher Questionnaires had been returned.
The format of questions asked were both closed-ended and open-ended, allowing a certain element of statistical information to be gathered alongside the opportunity for respondents to share thoughts, feelings, professional expertise and recommendations for future practice. Given the size of the sample surveyed, however, any results must be viewed tentatively. Perhaps this poor response rate is, in itself, evidence that there is a lack of enthusiasm or any real concern for this issue.
The teachers and LSA’s who responded felt that there were both benefits and difficulties relating to the presence of an LSA in their classroom. The benefits from a teaching perspective can be summarized as follow; as a witness if needed with pupils who later deny their behaviour, a chaperone for talking to pupils one to one, someone able to leave the classroom if necessary, for example to hunt down a truant, to escort distressed or badly behaved pupils who are leaving the room, to clarify instructions for students. It was also mentioned that LSA’s can be a source of feedback and “can provide comparison between your lessons and other peoples.”
Data gathered from questionnaires found that LSA’s saw the benefits more in terms of the student and the subject teacher by highlighting that individual attention and support through differentiated resources enables access to the curriculum and encourages students to stay on task. One LSA commented that, “Teachers can gain valuable information on the needs of students, who are being supported, and develop suitable teaching strategies.”
The difficulties were seen to be few but included lack of space in the classroom, particularly when there can often be the classroom teacher, a student teacher and one or more support teachers at any given time. One teacher felt that it was difficult to always keep on top of planning lessons far enough in advance so that LSA’s had time to prepare differentiated resources. One teacher provided a particularly damnatory account of the difficulties encountered, “ The commonest problem with LSA’s is that they can be so noisy and disruptive, talking throughout explanations, walking around and in and out etc. They can cause confusion by contradicting either instructions or explanations. They can be dominating and intimidating. I have, in the past, had a class I was afraid of walking into because of bullying by a group of LSA’s. The worst experiences I have had of LSA’s is due to managers using them to spy and report back on teachers. This permanently destroys any hope of a working relationship.”
From a given list, each of the respondents in the study were asked to order the ways in which the LSA’s time is being utilised (1 = most often, 7 = least often):
Working with a group
Supporting SEN, IEPs
Putting up displays
As an advisor when planning lessons
Although the response, from Subject Teachers and LSA’s, to this question demonstrates agreement that a) working with SEN, b) preparing materials and c) advisory roles, are paramount, lesson observations showed a disparity between theory and practise. This variance of perception, which will be further considered in the next section, suggests a lack of clarity regarding role definitions and a potential for the misuse of LSA’s time which will ultimately impact upon the learner.
The ethos that all students should be encouraged to become independent learners requires that SEN students are nurtured in a way which helps them to develop self-esteem and personal learning strategies. For this to occur flexible support strategies, where LSA and Subject Teachers regularly liaise outwith the classroom, must be in place. Fruitful teaching partnerships exist where associates share knowledge and vision regarding the goals for their students. If LSA’s are included in planning, record keeping and assessment then more specifically differentiated lessons can be delivered for the benefit of all students. Here again there is agreement, amongst those sampled, but issues arise where time constraints limit the possibility of effective communication. This point, and a number of others, were most eloquently illustrated by one teacher:
“I try to offer all regular support staff a meeting once a week. However, some years I have had 15 or 20 support staff on my timetable, and they have as many teachers to support, so this is not always practical. Some classes have up to 6 adults in at once, this is obviously too many, especially if it isn’t always the same six, some are reluctant to introduce themselves, give their names or take any direction from the teacher at all. In these cases there is no communication at all.”
Most LSA’s felt that they were not included in planning stating that only a minority of teaching staff provided any advanced information on lesson content to allow for differentiated planning.
For both questionnaires and interviews, how the questions are asked is extremely important. Poor questions will lead to poor research results and conclusions. Poor response, amongst Subject Teachers, also makes findings inconclusive. This in itself is a great indicator of an apathy towards communication, collaboration and co-operation.
Step 4: Observation
A final method of investigation was Participant Observation which promised the prospect of gathering a sample of impressionistic data. The purpose of this method was to enable insight into the correlation between classroom practice and the previously gathered interview and questionnaire data. Studies in this area were difficult to organise and therefore resulted in a limited sample of Case Studies from which to refer. All samples were within the Music Department of School X and, as such, are not representative of the school as a whole.
There appeared to be an underlying atmosphere of resentment and a lack of willingness to include the LSA. I observed no joint planning or discussions before or after lessons and on one occasion a teacher shared the opinion, “She gets on my nerves” in response to a persistent LSA. The situation had arisen because the LSA had made clear that her only concern was the particular student she was supporting and had asked that other students work separately. The task involved working with electronic keyboards and limited supply meant the sharing of equipment. 14.
This particular subject teacher consistently demonstrates a good understanding for the needs of all students and creates interesting lessons which stimulate and challenge all learners. If students are to be included in lessons and have full access to the curriculum they should also be permitted to work with classmates, otherwise the feeling of otherness will persist and be detrimental to the students self-esteem, resulting ultimately in lowered levels of achievement.
All other lesson observations highlighted a poor level of communication between staff. The impression given was that Teaching Staff were inconvenienced by the presence of Learning Support Assistants who worked in an unwelcoming environment solely focussed on the needs of “their” students.
This research has brought to light a number of mutually acknowledged issues with regards to the current levels of communication between teaching professionals at School X. It is believed, by a majority of respondents, that consistency of provision and continuity of student development is hampered through lack of timetabled periods set aside for staff to collaborate in terms of understanding individual needs and planning appropriately. Workload for both groups is high and, while each aspires to the highest professional standards, time constraints restrict any formalised communication time.
There are further issues of continuity where it is not always the same LSA who supports each student. This prevents the development of any healthy working partnership and is detrimental to the child.
Differing priorities were highlighted by participants from both groups. For example, the LSA may be too focussed on one or two particular students to allow for their social development in terms of working with others and also Subject Staff may unintentionally neglect the SEN student, for the best of reasons, if it is perceived that they are in capable hands.
LSA’s commented that they can feel that their knowledge and skills are often not valued; Subject teachers may transmit an attitude that the LSA is an unnecessary addition to their classroom. The reverse is also true and teachers have expressed frustration that their knowledge and ability to deal with SEN inclusion is not recognised by LSA’s.
Finally, communication between the various support departments is not ideal leaving teachers to cope with, at times, as much as 6 adult support staff.
Recommendations gathered from questionnaire analysis can be found in Appendix 5.
In summary these are as follow, timetabled periods which allow for staff to meet and discuss the needs of students, to lesson plan effectively and look at differentiating resources together, should take place as often as possible. It has been suggested that weekly meetings would be most beneficial but time constraints may demand fortnightly or even monthly liaison. Particularly at the outset of a new Scheme of Work it would be helpful to establish strategies for differentiating the learning experience. Ideally a Learning Support Assistant should be assigned to particular teachers over each week allowing the opportunity to develop an understanding of specific teaching styles and personalities. It has even been suggested that Subject specific LSA’s would be the biggest asset to the school. This is a long way off and may possibly never happen. The best option here would be to promote an environment where information can be shared across departments. Learning Support staff already provide training at INSET days but a way forward would be for subject staff to give introductory talks or workshops on their subject with perhaps an overview of departmental Schemes of Work.
Finally, one manager for all support departments would better co-ordinate the provision for students. Such a person could bring together all the complimentary elements of the rich support network within School X and provide a specific point of contact for students, teachers, parents and outside agencies.
New teachers are expected to enter their NQT year fully armed with a broader knowledge of education than ever before. Educational reform is a continuing process which directly affects policy, procedure and structure within schools. With more call for inclusion, teachers must continue to develop professionally in order to be fully equipped to embrace the growing diversity of needs. The education of our students is a shared responsibility and, as such, requires of all involved agencies an ability to communicate, co-operate and collaborate. Failure to do so is to fail in the quality of provision and to jeopardise the attainment potential for all children within our care.
BEVERIDGE, S. (1993) Special Educational Needs in Schools. London : Routledge.
GARDNER, H (1983; 1993) Frames of Mind: The theory of multiple intelligences, New York : Basic Books.
AKHARAS, F.N, SELF. J.A. (2000) International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds
BEVERIDGE, S. (1996) Spotlight on SEN: Learning Difficulties. NASEN publications.
DES (1981) Education Act 1981. London : HMSO.
DES (1988) Education Reform Act 1988. London : HMSO.
DES (1991) Education Act 1991. London : HMSO.
DES (1993) Education Act 1993. London : HMSO.
DES (1996) Education Act 1996. London : HMSO.
DfEE (1997) Excellence for all Children: Meeting Special Educational Needs (summary). London : HMSO.
DfES (1999) All our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education London : DfES
Exceptionally Able Children, 1997, rev. ed., Education Dept. of W.A., East Perth TP2, Equal Opportunities Policy (2005)
TP2, OFSTED REPORT (2005)
Audit Commission – www.audit-commission.gov.uk
Every Child Matters – www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/publications/
Teacher net – www.teachernet.gov.uk/
University of Wales, Aberystwyth – www.aber.ac.uk/
BLUNKETT, D. (2000) Transforming Secondary Education London : DfES
CLARK, D. (1996) Schools as Learning Communities London : Cassell
CLARK, C. & GAINS, G. (1997) “Meeting the Challenge of the Able Learner”. COWNE, E. (1996) The SENCO Handbook. London : David Fulton
DAVIES, J.D., GARNER, P. & LEE, J. (eds.) (1998) Managing Special Needs in Mainstream Schools: The Role of the SENCO. London : David Fulton
GERSCHEL, L. (May 2005).The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator’s Role in Managing Teaching Assistants: The Greenwich Perspective. NASEN, Volume 20, Number 2
RAMIJHUN, A.F. (1996) Implementing the Code of Practice for children with Special Educational Needs: A Practical Guide. London : David Fulton Publishers
1.) Ofsted Inspection 2005, School X: INSPECTION JUDGEMENTS Annex A
|Key to judgements: Grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequate.||School
|How effective, efficient and inclusive is the provision of
education, integrated care and any extended services in
meeting the needs of learners?
|How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners. well-being?||1||1|
|The quality and standards in the Foundation Stage||-||-|
|The effectiveness of the school’s self-evaluation||1||1|
|The capacity to make any necessary improvements||Y||Y|
|Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last inspection||Y||Y|
ACHIEVEMENT AND STANDARDS
|How well do learners achieve?||1||2|
|The standards reached by learners||3||3|
|How well learners. make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners||2||2|
|How well learners with learning difficulties and disabilities make progress||2|
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AND WELL-BEING
|How good is the overall personal development and well-being of the learners?||1|
|The extent of learners. spiritual, moral, social and cultural
|The behaviour of learners||1|
|How well learners enjoy their education||2|
|The extent to which learners adopt safe practices||1|
|The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community.||1|
|How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will
contribute to their future economic well-being
THE QUALITY OF PROVISION
|How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full
range of learners’ needs?
|How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners?||2||1|
|How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?||1||1|
|How well does the provision promote the well-being of learners?||1||1|
2a.) Equal Opportunities Policy, School X (Key Elements)
|The Equal Opportunities Policy at School X is fairly standard with it’s overall aim being to “maximise achievement by ensuring equality of opportunity for all members of the community.”
The principles set out are that:
2b.) SEN POLICY (Key Elements)
|SEN POLICY (Key Elements)
The Guiding Principles are in line with the Whole School Equal Opportunities Policy and, as such, are not included here.
1. Identifying and assessing accurately the needs of individual pupils, and maintaining effective systems for collecting, recording and processing this information clearly
Developing partnerships with pupils, their parents and guardians, to foster positive attitudes by our pupils to their self-confidence and enhance their self-esteem.
3a.) Job Description (SENCO)
|Role of the SENCO (Summarized from Generic Job Description)
The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) is responsible for ensuring that any children with special needs are being helped appropriately, ensuring liaison with parents and other professionals, talking to and advising any member of staff who is concerned about a child, co-ordinating provision, making sure all written records are completed and appropriate Individual Education Plans are in place, ensuring relevant background information about individual children is collected, recorded and up-dated and contacting the relevant Area SENCO at the earliest possible stage where there is a concern.
3b.) Role and Responsibility (LSA)
INSPIRE CONFIDENCE & TRUST
VALUE THE CHILD
FOSTER PEER GROUP ACCEPTANCE
ENCOURAGE & GIVE REWARDS
DEVELOPING LISTENING SKILLS
ENABLING THE CHILD
FINDING OUT ABOUT THE SPECIAL NEED
BEING “IN TUNE” WITH A STUDENT’S PHYSICAL NEED
SUPPORT THE SCHOOL:
|CONTRIBUTING TO REVIEWS
KNOWING SCHOOL PROCEDURES
ATTENDING RELEVANT IN SERVICE TRAINING OR STAFF MEETINGS
SUPPORT THE CURRICULUM:
3c.) GENERIC JOB DESCRIPTION – SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHER UK
|Typical Job Description Secondary School Teacher UK
A secondary school teacher teaches one or more national curriculum subjects to classes of pupils aged 11-16 or 11-18.
The subjects are determined by the national curriculum but how they are taught is down to the professional judgement of the teacher, whose priority it is to ensure pupils learn.
Teachers develop schemes of work and plan lessons in line with national objectives. They encourage, monitor and record the progress of individual pupils and devise and adapt resources to suit their own students.
Secondary school teachers must also keep up to date with developments in their subject area, new resources and methods.
Typical work activities include:
Planning, preparing and delivering lessons to a range of classes; marking work, giving appropriate feedback and maintaining records of pupil progress and development; researching new topic areas and maintaining up-to-date subject knowledge; devising and writing new curriculum materials; selecting and using a range of different learning resources and equipment;
|undertaking pastoral duties, including taking on the role of form tutor and supporting pupils on an individual basis through academic or personal difficulties; preparing pupils for external examinations, such as GCSE and A-level, as well as standard attainment tests (SATs) and administering and invigilating these examinations; managing pupil behaviour in the classroom and on school premises, applying appropriate and effective measures in cases of misbehaviour; supervising and supporting the work of teaching assistants, trainee teachers and newly qualified teachers (NQTs); participating in and organising extracurricular activities; participating in departmental meetings, parents’ evenings and whole school training events; liasing with other professionals, such as learning mentors, careers advisers, educational psychologists and education welfare officers; undergoing regular observations as part of continuing professional development (CPD).
This Occupational Profile forms part of Prospects Planner
4.) QUESTIONNAIRES – LSA & SUBJECT TEACHER (KEY QUESTIONS)
|SUBJECT TEACHERS QUESTIONNAIRE|
|Why does the LSA spend time in the classroom and
a) What benefits do you gain?
|Do you ever give positive instructions to the LSAs about what you require them to do which could be more proactive in creating a partnership with which to meet the pupils’ needs? If so, please elaborate.
Does your LSA contribute to record keeping? If yes, how?
Do you feel that your LSA has enough time to do all that is asked of him/ her? Yes/ No/ Sometimes
How much time are you able to invest in seeking and sharing advice, guidance, support and feedback?
Please complete the following sentence:
I find the most effective use of the LSAs time is…..
What recommendations would you have for improving communication and collaboration between Learning Support Staff and Subject Teachers?
|LEARNING SUPPORT ASSISTANTS QUESTIONNAIRE|
|Why does the LSA (Learning Support Assistant) spend time in the classroom and
a) What benefits do subject teachers gain?
b) What difficulties does this pose for you?
Please add to the above list any other activity not shown.
|Do you ever receive positive instructions about what is required of you which could be more proactive in creating a partnership with which to meet the pupils’ needs? If so, please elaborate.
Do you contribute to record keeping? If yes, how?
Do you feel that you have enough time to do all that is asked of you? Yes/ No/ Sometimes
How much time are you able to invest in seeking and sharing advice, guidance, support and feedback?
Please complete the following sentence:
I find the most effective use of the LSAs time is…..
What recommendations would you have for improving communication and collaboration between Learning Support Staff and Subject Teachers?
Is there anything that you would change about your role which would benefit Yourself (Personally/ Professionally), The Students , The School
5.) Recommendations from sample group
|Question: What recommendations would you have for improving communication and collaboration between Learning Support Staff and Subject Teachers?
Responses from Subject Staff
Subject teachers must acknowledge role of support staff – We need to know what is being taught so we can direct it appropriately to our students