How do we cope with fewer LSAs?

As educators, you understand the importance of having a supportive team to help you manage your classroom and provide the best possible education for your students. One essential member of this team is the Learning Support Assistant (LSA).

If you’re not a teacher, here’s a quick insight! LSAs are highly trained professionals who provide one-on-one support to students who struggle with learning difficulties or disabilities. They work closely with teachers to ensure that every student in the classroom has access to the resources and support they need to succeed.

Despite the critical role they play in our schools, LSAs are often undervalued and underutilised. Many schools do not have enough LSAs to meet the needs of their students, which can lead to frustration and burnout for teachers, as well as a lack of progress for students who need extra help.

So why are LSAs so important, and what can we do to ensure that they receive the recognition and support they deserve? First and foremost, LSAs provide essential support for students who struggle with learning difficulties or disabilities. They work with these students one-on-one to help them understand complex concepts, develop study skills, and build confidence in their abilities.

In addition to working with individual students, LSAs also provide support for teachers. They help to manage the classroom, provide feedback on student progress, and assist with lesson planning and curriculum development.

Unfortunately, despite their importance, many LSAs are undervalued and underpaid. They often work long hours for low wages, with little recognition for their contributions to the classroom. This can lead to burnout and high turnover rates, which can be detrimental to the students they serve.

So what can we do to bridge the gap? For years now, despite desperately needing more funding, schools have been facing the tightest of budgets. Although there are large sums of money being made available in funding to schools, when spread across the hundreds in the UK it’s simply not enough.

Implementing technology like The Outdoor Classroom can help to bridge that gap for children with learning difficulties. Outdoor learning is proven to help to keep pupils focused and engaged by offering inclusive and accessible learning opportunities.

Outdoor learning also boosts mental and physical health, improving the immune systems of pupils, offering that additional exercise and connecting pupils with first-hand experiences that increase understanding by linking experience with theoretical learning in the classroom.

We need to recognize the critical role that LSAs play in our schools and provide them with the support and resources they need to succeed. This includes providing fair compensation, training and professional development opportunities, and recognition for their contributions to the classroom. Unfortunately, schools themselves do recognise this, but simply don’t have the capacity to hire as many LSAs as they need.

We also need to ensure that there are enough LSAs available to meet the needs of our students. This means investing in our schools and providing funding for additional staff and resources. Technology like The Outdoor Classroom helps both teachers and LSAs avoid that burnout that comes with the dire situation they’re facing.

LSAs are essential members of our educational team, providing critical support for students who struggle with learning difficulties or disabilities. As teachers, it is important that we recognize their contributions to the classroom and advocate for their needs. By working together, we can ensure that every student has access to the resources and support they need to achieve their full potential.