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Support Staff Case Studies
The Greneway School, Royston
School No: 78
CB - Deputy Head and CPD Leader
The Greneway School changed from a Secondary School and opened its doors as a Middle School in 1969. Presently it has 437 pupils from Year 5 to 8. It is a four form entry school with five forms in year 6 and 8 and is the feeder school for The Meridian School in Royston and Freman College in Buntingford.
CB is the Deputy Head and the Continuing Professional Development leader responsible for co-ordinating CPD for all support staff.
Support staff roles include:
CB is very enthusiastic about the support staff team and has a very high regard for the skills and competencies that are held within the team. Some of the staff have more than one role which has helped in terms of recruitment and retention and in the diversity of their own professional development. For example: one Teaching Assistant is also an Administrative Assistant and MSA whilst another TA has further responsibilities as an ICT technician. Needless to say all support staff are encouraged to take an active part in the area of their expertise and other areas they are keen to pursue and develop.
One of the two HLTAs is the Science Technician and works across both key stages. Her duties involve: co-ordination of all science equipment, assisting with the smooth running of lessons, developing resources, assisting with the marking of assessments, covering for absent colleagues to name but a few. She also runs the out of school study Support Group three times a week to support pupils with their homework and co-ordinates a science club largely attended by Gifted and Talented pupils.
The other HLTA is the Network Manager for the school and is responsible for all hardware and software provision across the school, and for enhancing the ICT teaching resources. In addition she is the web-editor and runs computer club. She has undertaken an additional role in which she plans prepares and delivers eight lessons of discrete ICT each week. As her workload has increased it has been necessary to employ an additional technician assistant to help with the general running of both the hardware and software areas of ICT. It is envisaged that more staffing will need to be incorporated in this ever growing area of school life.
Continuing Professional Development
All TAs have undertaken the four day induction course and are invited to attend the Drop-in ICT workshops that are run in house, staff meetings and INSET days. They also make use of the SPLd courses that are run at the Grange School in Letchworth. One TA is currently undertaking the Specialist Teaching Assistant qualification through the University of Hertfordshire and is due to finish this in the summer term.
MSAs have had first aid training and some have participated in the SSCO PE training to facilitate lunchtime/playtime games.
Administrative staff, when new to role, have individual training from the school manager and spend time working with more experienced colleagues. This in-house training is regarded as extremely valuable and as valid as training received from any other sources. All staff are first aid trained (except one of the administrative staff who did not wish to undergo the 4 day training) which provides cover throughout the school day. In addition, they also regularly attend training at the Education Centre for continuous updating and training on the management information software used in school.
The site managers attend courses regularly that are run by the Health and Safety Team in order to update skills and knowledge needed for their particular roles.
Now that the teachers PM is up and running and established more time is being spent on developing the PM procedure for all other Support staff. TAs meet with their line manager, objectives are set, professional development outlined and appropriate observations are conducted.
Admin staff, the Site Management team and SSA PMs are undertaken by the School Manager on an annual basis. Admin staff meet regularly to assess how things are going and what training has been received and needed.
It is proposed that in the summer term the last two groups of staff (ie cleaners and midday supervisors) will have joint PM reviews. This is seen as a positive step to include all staff in the PM procedure. The cleaning team changes on a regular basis as there are many 6th formers within the cleaning staff. The PM for the cleaning staff will be undertaken by the School Manager and the Senior Site Manager initially with the view to the Senior Site Manager conducting this in future. The PM for the midday supervisors will be undertaken by the School Manager and the Senior Supervisory Assistant initially with the view to the Senior Supervisory Assistant conducting this in future.
When all the Performance Management Reviews are completed the CPD forms are given to the CPD leader to consider training, costs and implications, and every attempt is made to accommodate needs.
The school is currently working on a formal PM policy for Support Staff.