MOST teaching assistants in mid and north Wales say they don’t have adequate training to deliver the new Curriculum for Wales, according to a survey, with that number rising to more than 84 per cent in Ceredigion.
The union Unison, in a recent survey, found two-thirds of those who took part said they have not received enough training to deliver the curriculum.
The new Curriculum for Wales was formally introduced in primary schools and about half of secondary schools in September last year.
The curriculum, seen as the biggest change in Welsh education in decades, has covered all pupils in Wales up to age 12 to 13 from September this year.
The Welsh Government said the curriculum “aims to offer a broader, more rounded education with an emphasis on the experiences children get, not just the knowledge and skills.”
But teaching assistants surveyed by the union suggest that training for teaching assistants on the already implemented curriculum “needs to be addressed.”
Other survey responses said that on in-service training days (INSET days) - which are meant to be used for staff development - some teaching assistants 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 between May and September this year.