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Teaching Assistants - the development of a profession?

LOWE, Michelle (2010) Teaching Assistants - the development of a profession? Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract
Teaching Assistants – the development of a profession?
In 2003 a national agreement between government, employers and workforce unions introduced significant changes to the school workforce. A key outcome was a significant increase in the number of Teaching Assistants (TAs), who could take on some aspects of the work of teachers. However, there is very little empirical data about TAs, most of what is available is based upon limited datasets. Most previous analyses presume that they are an homogenous group, thus ignoring the possibility that there may be important differences in the types of TA and their deployment. The research reported in this thesis documents the history of TAs and explores their current role. It is argued that a typology of TA roles can be derived, which can help their future deployment in schools and form the basis for the development of a career pathway specific to TAs.
The national agreement was to lead to a new ‗professionalism‘ (DfES 2003) and this research provides new empirical analysis which specifically explores the extent to which TAs have become ‗professional‘ in the light of these reforms. In pursuing this objective the concept of professionalism in relation to TAs is critically appraised by examining the views of TAs and the teachers and CPD leaders they work with. It is argued that these perspectives on professionalism and professional status impact upon how schools deploy TAs. It is also argued that these perspectives lead to specific patterns of remuneration and working conditions which are different from those anticipated by orthodox labour market theory. A proposition supported by analyses of TAs‘ pay and job satisfaction. This thesis identifies that there has been an uncoupling of the factors normally associated with pay and satisfaction at work, leading to a mutually reinforcing relationship between pay and satisfaction which generates inertia and has the effect of negatively disadvantaging TAs in employment.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: N100 Business studies
Depositing User: Kim MCGAW
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2015 10:57
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2015 10:57
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/2012

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