Hundreds of teaching assistants say they don’t have adequate training to deliver the Curriculum for Wales, says their union UNISON today (Thursday).
In a recent survey of teaching assistants two-thirds of those who took part (66%) said they have not received enough training to deliver the curriculum.
Others said that on in-service training days (INSET days), which are meant to be used for staff development, they had been asked to clean classrooms and do photocopying.
Some even said they had been asked to carry out unpaid school maintenance work during days that were originally set aside for training sessions.
UNISON Cymru/Wales head of schools Rosie Lewis said: “Teaching assistants play a crucial role in schools and must be given the necessary training.
“This is essential to support pupils and provide staff with the chance to develop their own careers.
“It is completely unacceptable that they are being asked to come in, sometimes without being paid, to carry out tasks unrelated to their jobs.
“UNISON will be sharing its survey results with the Welsh government and calling for immediate action to give teaching assistants the support they need.”
Ceredigion teaching assistant and UNISON schools convenor Rebecca Ring said: “There is a tendency to overlook our professional development and this needs to improve.
“If the Curriculum for Wales is to be successful, then the role of teaching assistants and our learning needs must be addressed.”
UNISON Cymru/Wales spoke to 409 teaching assistants from across Wales for its teaching assistant professional learning survey 2023.
The survey was conducted between May and September 2023 and is available online here: https://cymru-wales.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/sites/9/2023/11/Teaching-Assistant-Professional-Learning-Survey-Report-UNISON-Cymru-Wales-2023.pdf
A total of 66% of those who responded said they have not received enough training to deliver the curriculum for Wales. Of those, the highest percentage (84%) came from Ceredigion.