Can I move a TA between bubbles?

 

It’s going to be one of those questions that they engrave on my gravestone…along with, “Who goes on the SEN register?”

 

I read a really great answer on Facebook and thought I’d take that and expand it a little further.

 

It’s about being sensible.  We have to return to work and some form of normality.  We have to get on with teaching.  We have to get on with supporting.

 

Primary schools, arguably, have an easier job of maintaining their bubbles.  Generally speaking, there is little movement of staff throughout the day.  But where budget cuts have meant that there is no longer 1 TA per class and some sharing has to happen, then they too will have to face some of the logistical nightmare their secondary colleagues are currently battling.

 

Putting aside 1:1 TA support for the moment and just looking at general in-class, group support by TAs.

Teachers in secondary school are being told to move between classes but maintain the 2m social distancing.  Whilst it means the music teacher might therefore still meet all students throughout the week, there is a degree of trying to limit the number of classes most staff teach.  Even maths and English departments who generally have the lion share of lessons will perhaps cross 4 or 5 bubbles.

 

If the TA can keep the social distancing of 2m then there is nothing to stop them also accessing 4 or 5 bubbles.

Where the 2m distancing can’t be maintained, and let’s face it, we’re being told it’s not needed by mid-November anyway (I wasn’t aware that the virus worked to a predetermined schedule set by government…) then TAs will be in closer vicinity.  In which case they need to be restricted to working in fewer bubbles and undertaking the advice to sit at the side of students not opposite them, keep as much distance as reasonably possible and make sure the room is well ventilated.

 

And on to our 1:1 TAs, by the nature of that description their 1:1 is their ‘bubble’ within a bubble.  Provided their 1:1 isn’t themselves transferring between a series of different bubbles (and if they are, they are trying to maintain some social distancing) then this shouldn’t be an issue.

 

What we have to remember is if the someone becomes ill…every bubble they have been in contact with will need to self-isolate for 14 days…students and staff!  (Let’s hope the music teacher stays safe!)

 

It will all boil down to logistics of what staffing is available and perhaps a degree of redeployment of other support staff to provide assistance.  With high quality teaching and some decent differentiation hopefully, some groups wouldn’t need as much support.

Questions I’d be asking?

  • In a secondary, do we attach the TA to the group…or to the teacher?
  • Can we regroup students, so the bubbles are reduced? (Much as I hate to suggest streaming/setting.)
  • Are we moving staff around or students around? (If the staff are moving, it makes more sense for the TA to be group based and stay with the students providing that changeover supervision.)
  • We can’t distance the TA from the students as easily, but can we distance them from the staff who are moving?