The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the workers has been approached by many LSEs with regards to the compiling and submission of records of work at this time. The union has carefully noted all their concerns and after a lengthy consultation as to the value of the documentation, it has come to the conclusion that records of work should be handed in, without going into excessive detail. These are, after all, not schemes of work but a list of work completed and resources used, which can be brought up as evidence of work done, should an LSE’s performance be contested.
LSEs have been working in the background supporting our children inconspicuously, and their work can very easily go unnoticed and their activity can be put in doubt. The record of work can provide evidence of the activity that has been going on.
The union is fully aware that not all LSEs are currently in a position to produce voluminous amounts of information due to the severity of the children in their care or because the children do not seem to be contactable. It is to be borne in mind that in these exceptional times, it is not the quantity of work which is being gauged, but the actual evidence that LSEs have been putting their best foot forward when reaching out to the students in their care.
Students with severe disabilities.
The union realises that with some students with severe disabilities, academic work online may be very difficult or even impossible to complete. In this case, the LSEs can still maintain contact with the parents via approved platforms, possibly even reaching out to see if there is anything that the LSEs can do to help out, provide advice on, or even make recommendations. Even though the LSEs may perceive this as not being work done, this is not so, and the details of the communication with the parent, or the impossibility to get through, can be logged into the record of work. If an LSE is not managing to get in touch with such students, there should be a formal notification made to the SMT, and that too can be logged on the records of work.
Students following the mainstream curriculum and receiving work via email.
The union is aware that LSEs cannot know for sure that students have been downloading work and doing it. However, if an LSE touches base with the parents on authorised platforms, communicates with teachers about the submission or the quality of work they have been receiving, and offers assistance as outlined in the guidelines, then that can be logged in the record of work.
Students following the mainstream curriculum with no adaptations in online classrooms.
If an LSE is sitting in an online classroom, prompting a child on chat, assisting in the completion of work by helping the child to stay focussed, eliciting answers in a side chat or call, reading out a page to those who require a reader, all of this should be logged on the record of work.
Students following the mainstream curriculum with adaptations in online classrooms.
LSEs should keep a record of adaptations made to the work of the teacher, whatever form they may take, with a statement saying whether or not the teacher has assisted in the preparation of adapted resources. Otherwise the child will appear to be coping without assistance as there is no evidence proving otherwise.
Students following a differentiated curriculum and receiving work via email.
These children need to be monitored in terms of whether work has been downloaded and completed, LSEs can touch base with caregivers via approved means of communication, to see whether they require any additional assistance which the LSE can provide or which may require the LSE to tap into other approved sources. The LSE needs to let the SMT know, for instance, whether the teacher has provided assistance in the provision of resources or if the work has been entirely generated by the LSE. Again all this needs to be logged in the record of work.
Students following a differentiated curriculum in online classes.
The union is aware of how silent the role of the LSE may be in an online classroom, especially if the child is on a differentiated program. The child and the LSE just seem to vanish into oblivion and their activity may be underestimated. A record of work of what has been covered, as minimal as the content may be, will provide insight into the activity of the LSE.
Students who are not contactable.
LSEs may find that their students do not respond to emails or any attempt at communication. Especially at this moment in time, bearing in mind how vulnerable our students are, it is imperative to log the attempts made to get in touch with the student on the records of work, and to forward these cases to the SMT as quickly as possible so that they may investigate further.
The union feels that all of the above comprises what needs to be included in the records of work submitted by LSEs, the content of the lessons per se does not need to be quoted, as those fall under the remit of the teacher’s duties. The records of work should include the level of engagement of the LSE as a way of safeguarding our children first and above all, but also safeguarding LSEs themselves, lest their work should be cast into shadows and be subjected to unjust criticism.
The Ministry is only asking for 2 sets of records of work until the end of the year, to be submitted at the end of the months of May and June. Given the current situation, where an LSE’s work cannot be witnessed face-to-face, the union feels it is important for the records to be completed. The ministry reassured the union that, this is a short term solution which will not be extended into what would normally constitute a regular academic year.
Should our members have any further queries, they are always welcome to contact us directly via email at email@example.com or by calling our offices on 2590 5400