An investigation of secondary school pupils’ perspectives on the work of teaching assistants

Gallimore, Charlotte (2017). An investigation of secondary school pupils’ perspectives on the work of teaching assistants. University of Birmingham. Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.

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The number of teaching assistants (TAs) employed in schools across England is steadily increasing (Department for Education, 2015). Due to limited information on this large workforce, the ‘Deployment and Impact of Support Staff’ (DISS) project was undertaken (Blatchford et al., 2008). Concerning findings from this project have influenced further research and informed advice for changes for TA practice and deployment. Although pupils are the key stakeholders of TA support there is limited research gaining their perspectives on this area (Cajkler et al., 2007), particularly for secondary school pupils.

In this study, a mixed method design underpinned by a strength-based perspective was used to investigate secondary school pupils’ perspectives on TAs. Findings suggest that supporting pupils with their learning was perceived to be a primary aspect of the TA role, in addition to several other forms of support across multiple contexts. Strategies to support learning, communication, personal characteristics and working within a context to meet the needs of the pupil, were perceived to contribute to effective TA practice and deployment. TAs were also perceived to have a positive impact on pupils’ learning and wellbeing. These findings contribute to the existing literature and have implications for research and professional practice.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools


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