Teaching assistant training fund scrapped by government

Unison, the public sector trade union, has accused the government of short-term thinking after learning the teaching assistants’ training fund has been scrapped.

According to a letter from the Training Development Agency (TDA), the budget for higher-level teaching assistants has been cancelled for the 2010-11 school year.

Unison’s head of education, Christina McAnea, said: “There is a clear need for more teaching assistants to be trained to a higher level.”

A recent Unison survey found teaching assistants are often called on to cover for absent teachers, despite lacking the appropriate training or qualifications.

McAnea said: “By cutting 100% of the funds available for training teaching assistants, the government will only make matters worse.”

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