Posted: Tue 22nd Feb 2022

Teaching assistants in Wales “get recognition and training they deserve,” says union

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 22nd, 2022

Teaching assistants across Wales have praised Friday’s statement from education minister Jeremy Miles as the biggest commitment Welsh government has ever made to improving their employment conditions.

Typically, Wales’ thousands of mainly female teaching assistants are very poorly paid and lack any career development and training.

UNISON, the largest union representing teaching assistants (TAs), welcomed the commitment from Welsh government to recognise and value the vital roles TAs play in supporting pupils and ensuring the success of schools across the country.

The trade union has been working with closely with the Welsh government to secure improvements.

“Many teaching assistants go above and beyond the call of duty on a daily basis and are often not given the credit for the key work they do.”

“Now Welsh government will take action to identify and improve access to a range of high-quality training and UNISON says it will allow teaching assistants to develop and further their careers in this profession.” Unison said.

Welsh government also says action will be taken to ensure TAs are appropriately deployed in the classroom and the trade union says this is key to making the most of their skills.

Teaching assistant Jo Jones said: “We are often the first face children see when they arrive at school and the last before they finish their day.

“It is excellent news that gaps in the provision of professional development and training for teaching assistants has been recognised and that the aim is now of ensuring equality of access to targeted, high quality and consistent training for teaching assistants.

“It is also reassuring that other areas such as deployment, standardisation of roles, pay, well-being and governing body representation is also being addressed.”

Helen Huelin, UNISON Cymru/Wales organiser, said: “Teaching assistants are an integral part of the school workforce and work incredibly hard to support children and young people across Wales to achieve their educational aspirations.

“We are pleased that the Welsh government is providing funding for improved access to good quality, professional development and training opportunities for teaching assistants through the new National Professional Learning Entitlement which will support them to continue to provide the highest quality learning experience in our schools.

“This is a long overdue piece of work that will raise the profile of teaching assistants and recognise the value and contribution they make in schools across Wales.”

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