Similarly to school teachers & support staff teaching assistants are in a position of trust, subject to legal laws ethical guidelines, rules & policies employees required abiding.
In the UK legal age of content is 16, and although the general population are allowed you as a class assistant in a UK school position are morally, ethically, contractually and possibly not allowed to get involved in a personal relationship with a school student.
A school teaching assistant is not allowed to date a student as it’s a position of trust under Sexual Offences Act 2003 where it’s ethically, legally, contractually and morally forbidden in UK education. Getting into a personal relationship with a student while a TA at a school will most likely involve you’re instant dismissal from the job, and likely legal action against you.
School TA position of trust
Teacher assistants & teachers are expected to act in a certain way, namely a professional manner around children and in school at all times where personal relationships or bonding in anyway other that for school learning between TA and student is not allowed. Indeed, the law was update in 2001 making it illegal for school teachers to have any type of relationship with school pupil under 18 year old.
UK Sexual Offences Act 2003 states that any “sexual relationship between someone who is in a position of trust, such as a teacher and a person to whom that trust extends, is criminal”.
Under section 78 of the Sexual Offences Act teachers and teacher assistants are responsible for their actions around children at school. Equally, the school and local council are under obligation and owe a duty of care & trust for the safety & protection of all students at school. This includes grooming, coercion or unwanted physical or emotional activity with a teacher or teacher assistants.
Further, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 goes onto to state that any person over 18 years old whom is in a position of trust (School teacher assistant) over a pupil that 18 or under is hereby committing a UK criminal offence if they involve the under 18 year old pupil in sexual activity. The criminal offence is listed under the sections 16-24 of the Sexual Offences (Amendments) Act 2000 including all occupations at UK educational intuitions.
Parents rightly expect when they leave children in the schools care appropriate people have been employed who have been entrust with the safety & care of students as well a pupils educational learning. Trust in the community towards a school and its employees, including teaching assistants is paramount for all employees and the school for effective learning to take place.
Ethical issues in school education
Ethical issues involving classroom teacher assistants in education dating a school student while working at the school are far ranging including being seen as using you’re trusting TA position as a dating pool or hunting ground for your own gratification.
Getting into a relationship with a pupil at school as a TA is abuse of power over a student you have were they might think their compelled into a relationship with you as you provide assistance with learning. Grooming a child for a relationship or acting on the advances or coercion you receive from a student at school is in no way ethical as a classroom assistant at a UK school.
Impressionable pupils that can easily by lead astray by you the teacher assistant should be kept at arms length with you as a TA conducting you’re professional duties according to the job description only.
School contract of employment clauses
A school or council doesn’t want to get into a position where it could be sued and will rightly insist you agree to a clause in you’re contract of employment stating that under no circumstances you can or are allowed to form a personal relationship with any of the school students.
Should no forming any relationships between a class TA and any student be absent from you’re work contract it comes under UK Sexual Offences Act 2003 whereby you legally can’t have any personal relationship with a student at the school work place.
Basically, it comes under child protection/safeguarding training you must receive working with 3-18 year old children at a school in UK from Wales, N Ireland, England & Scotland. Student safeguarding training is regularly carried out in UK school to not only inform teachers, support staff and TAs about what to look out for, it also extend to a teaching assistants working obligations with school students.