Assignment 4 – The Role of the Teaching Assistant 1. Explain the responsibilities of the school relating to the duty of care and the welfare of the child. All adults working alongside children have a responsibility to keep them safe. As a teaching assistant, initial training will be given outlining your role and any other particular areas which your employer would like you to focus on to improve the schools child welfare system.
The Children Act1989 states that the welfare of the child is paramount and sets out to detail what Local Authorities and Courts should to protect children.
The school must designate a Senior Teacher who will hold specific responsibilities for child protection within their school, they will be clear and familiar with the rules and steps to follow regarding any matters of child welfare. They should also be confident and clear when offering advice and guidance to colleagues who are unfamiliar with the child protection service.
Teachers and teaching assistants have a duty of care to their students and because they have daily contact with them they are able to identify any signs of abuse, neglect, failure to develop or any unusual change in behaviour.
If a member of staff has any knowledge or suspicion that a child is or has been suffering in silence then they must take action, the usual course of action will be to consult with the designated colleague or if absent the most senior member of staff available. Furthermore the student must be informed that this information cannot be kept confidential and will be passed onto the appropriate person.
An immediate written record of the conversation passed must include information such as dates and time reported, dates and place of alleged abuse, the names of all the people involved, nature of alleged and description of any injuries observed, any information contributed by siblings or friends and finally confirmation that the student has been advised of the next steps. The designated Child Protection Co-ordinator will then notify Social Services by telephone and then confirm the allegations in writing, which is to be signed and dated by the referrer.
The Children Act 2004 sets out the process for providing services to children so that every child is able to achieve the five outcomes described in the Every Child Matters green paper, and all schools should aim to support this new approach to the well-being of children and support them in achieving these goals. The five outcomes of the Every Child Matters approach are to be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make positive contributions and finally, to achieve economic well-being. It is very important that support is given to children both at home and school as parents and teachers are the biggest influence in a child’s life. . Discuss 5 important school and statutory frameworks that directly impact on the teaching assistants work with pupils. Teaching assistants must be aware of all statutory frameworks that affect their own delivery of the curriculum, health and safety, child protection and any others aspects of school life whether it be social or academic. The first framework is equal opportunity, the teaching assistant has an important role in ensuring that each pupil has the same learning opportunities.
Many classroom assistants are employed with specific responsibilities to work with either individuals or groups of pupils to provide additional or different support to achieve equality of opportunity. In some cases the Teacher will direct the teaching assistant in working with the whole class while he/she can be available for one to one time for an individual who is finding the task difficult. The second framework is inclusion, this is similar to providing equal opportunity however is focuses more on including each individual pupil into the learning activity at present.
Inclusion is key, by providing extra support all pupils have a better advantage for learning, helping to build confidence, self-esteem and independence. This will allow them to succeed their full potential along with their classmates. The third framework is Diversity. Teaching assistants should demonstrate their valuing of pupils racial and other personal characteristics in order to help them develop self-esteem and sense of identity within themselves and in their school environment.
Teaching assistants must encourage all pupils to value and respect each other as every child will have different beliefs and religions, this will broaden and promote understanding of these cultures and build close relationships with their their classmates. The fourth framework is confidentiality. Teaching assistants must follow the school policies and procedures when they are approached by a pupil or member of staff with a confidential matter. This requirement covers information about colleagues and extends to communications with others in a social sense as well as work-related situations.
Pupils will look up to teaching assistants and they will see them as someone they can trust, therefore it is important you handle any problems they address you with appropriately and ensure you inform them of what you are going to do next. Finally the fifth framework is Anti-discrimination; this is the idea that every teaching assistant is fair to each pupil reaguarding gender, race, religion, cultural or social background, disability or sexual orientations. They must comply with school policies and promote anti-discriminatory practices with all pupils in order to create a friendly and happy work environment. . Describe the teaching assistant’s 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. It is also a high priority because of the importance of protecting the children, staff and visitors to the school. The teaching assistant’s contribution to keeping the environment safe involves simple roles such as ensuring that the work environment is clean and safe including the equipment to be used.
If anything is found to be dirty or not fit for use then it must be cleaned or removed before any pupils enter the work place. Before a lesson is about to start it is the teaching assistant’s responsibility to liaise with the Teacher and set out the appropriate materials he/she has asked for. This may be mats for any activity play or arts and crafts such as paint brushes and paints. When preparing with such resources the teaching assistant must ensure that they are all in good, clean condition. Any object that may cause harm to pupils must be removed and replaced if possible.
Before the lesson can begin the teaching assistant must make sure that the environment is equipped with a first aid box, fire appliances such as a fire extinguisher, smoke detectors and alarms and signs to mark fire exits (make sure the class have been shown these and understand the procedure in an emergency). Hygiene is important in schools as children are prone to touching each other when playing together. Therefore it is the teaching assistant’s job to make sure that the washing facilities are clean and they regularly check it is stocked with paper towels, toilet roll and liquid soap for the children.
This will prevent the spreading of infections and catching them by touching contaminated objects or surfaces. Teaching the children about hygiene and the reasons to wash their hands will also be a responsibility of the teaching assistant. After activities are over the environment must be cleaned for the next class, the use of cleaning products must be placed in a safe place afterwards where the children cannot access them without the help of a responsible adult.
By ensuring all of these tasks are put into place the teaching assistant is ensuring a safe and happy learning environment for the teacher, pupils and also the teaching assistant. 4. 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 either eliminate or prevent it.
The process begins with checking for hazards, deciding where improvements are needed and in what areas and finally developing a plan of action that specifies the actions required, the timescale for action the person responsible for the action and any funding that may be required for the improvements to be made. 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.
Here is a list of items that will be included on a risk assessment checklist specifically for football. These must be checked before the activity takes place: * Holes/uneven surfaces * Broken glass/sharp objects * Loose gravel or stones * Activity equipment (goal nets are secure/ cones and markers are in good condition with no sharp or broken edges/any clothing the pupils are wearing are safe for example appropriate footwear/if the game is to be played indoors then there must be sufficient heating and lighting.
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, for example securing a goal net so pupils will not trip and injure themselves during the game and the second stage is to take more permanent long term action to prevent it from happening again. This could be to replace the old nets with new ones so they are in good condition for the future.
Once the risk assessment has been performed and any hazards have been eliminated the football game can take place. 5. What training needs may exist for a teaching assistant and how best might they be identified and met. Training needs for teaching assistants are identified by their employer and are reached over a period of time. When employing a teaching assistant the employer must have a list of skills which they require for the position and a list they can work towards achieving, this can be achieved by determining what level of training is needed.
Regular meetings will be held during the year between the line manager and teaching assistant to discuss any problems or issues he/she may be having. Once these have been discussed an appropriate method to resolve these issues will be formed which will furthermore improve the education for all pupils to be greater. These meetings will also be a way for the teaching assistant to be kept up to date with the schools development. 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.
Local authorities run an induction course for teaching assistants which aims to make sure that all children are safe. These provide the basic knowledge and skills required of a teaching assistant and most local authorities run a range of courses which are available to sign up for. There is also school based training which happens in a school with the support of a teacher, here skills will be learnt and practiced in a classroom environment. This may be in an employment role or a voluntary role, both will generate experience and improve the skills required of a teaching assistant.
There are also training methods such as distance learning e. g. Stonebridge college courses, although this does not offer practical experience it gives an insight into the role of a teaching assistant and explores what academic and social situations may be involved. The final option would be long term training starting with college and ending with university, this allows you to work towards a degree. However there are also other routes such as an NVQ. 6.
Discuss the teaching assistant’s role with regards to the promotion of equal opportunities and diversity. Teaching assistants have an important role in a school setting to promote equal opportunity and diversity because they have can influence a child’s outlook and opinion on different religions, cultures or backgrounds. Therefore we must be appropriate in our language and pose no prejudice towards any particular group in society that is not our own as to exclude children or their families from the activities of the setting.
We must send the message that everybody is equal whatever their race or religion and today we live in a world where peoples backgrounds and experiences are diverse and this is a valuable asset to the children to learn and except this. Furthermore as a teaching assistant we must encourage children to learn and listen to other children’s views and not allow them to suffer from any form of abusive treatment because they belong to a particular group. To promote equal opportunities and celebrate diversity the school should aim to follow practices such as avoiding stereotyping.
They way adults treat children can give strong messages about what is expected of them, for example suggesting that it is ok for a boy to play football but for a girl it is not will send negative messages to girls and can restrict possibilities for future development by limiting their expectations of the roles and activities they can play in life. All children develop misconceptions about various racial and cultural groups from the media therefore school is thought to be a place where we teach children to overcome this type of stereotyping.
We can do this by creating an environment where materials on display show black people, women and disabled people to promote to the children that equality is important and must be valued. As a teaching assistant you will come to learn that every child has different strengths and weaknesses and by appreciating the child for who they are and their characteristics will make them feel valued whatever their background.
Also by treating every child equally a teaching assistant may have to treat them differently to adapt appropriately to meet their individual needs and characteristics so all children have the same opportunities to help them to get the best out of life through education. There are also legal requirements that relate to equal opportunities and to prevent discriminatory practice and the expression of prejudice. These laws can provide frameworks for teachers and teaching assistants to follow however they cannot change people’s attitudes.
Here are a few laws which are promoted within schools: The Children Act 1989 encourages good anti-racist and anti-discriminatory practice. The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 outlaws discrimination on the grounds of gender. Race Relations Act 1976 outlaws discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin. It is the teaching assistant’s role to enforce these laws and behave appropriately in regards to equality and diversity and to also encourage pupils to embrace these values too.
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