Staffordshire University logo
STORE - Staffordshire Online Repository

An Investigation into the Work of Teaching Assistants in Four English Primary Schools: Investigating Policy and Practice

HALL, Fiona (2019) An Investigation into the Work of Teaching Assistants in Four English Primary Schools: Investigating Policy and Practice. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

This is the latest version of this item.

[img]
Preview
Text (Thesis)
An Investigation into TA work - completed thesis (V2) Fiona Hall .pdf - Submitted Version
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (2MB) | Preview
[img] Text (Ethos Form)
EThOS Deposit Agreement_tcm44-75119 (2).doc
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (109kB) | Request a copy

Abstract or description

The research reported in this thesis examines the work of teaching assistants (TA) in primary schools. The national agreement in 2003 saw their numbers rise considerably in an attempt to raise standards and relieve teacher workloads. The initial intention was for TAs to undertake many of the administrative tasks of teachers although some whole-class support was envisaged in the form of higher level teaching assistants and cover supervisors. Following a large scale research project between 2003 and 2008 titled the Deployment and Impact of Support Staff, TAs came under criticism. They were reported to be deployed in pedagogical roles for which they lacked preparation and pedagogical knowledge; where they closed down talk and focused on task completion. The empirical research took place in 2016 in four North of England primary schools; taking a mixed-methods approach it aimed to investigate the reality of TA work. Questionnaires were completed by 46 TAs, eight full day observations undertaken (two TAs in each school), 16 TA interviews (four TAs per school) and four line manager interviews (one per school). The thesis is presented as a set of tensions which act as a lens through which TA work is examined. The four tensions are: professionalisation of TAs versus de-professionalisation of teachers; work versus non-work; control versus autonomy and inclusion versus exclusion. The findings are analysed drawing on theories of power and work with emphasis on the caring and nurturing that is associated with women’s work. These findings illustrate a growing professionalisation of TA work coupled with work intensification. Like teachers, TAs are subject to similar control mechanisms, yet, at times work with considerable autonomy. When included as full members of the school they have significant agency to shape their working conditions but are still subject to exploitation as they so readily provide unpaid labour.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Education
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2021 15:27
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 15:27
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/6740

Available Versions of this Item

  • An Investigation into the Work of Teaching Assistants in Four English Primary Schools: Investigating Policy and Practice. (deposited 16 Feb 2021 15:27) [Currently Displayed]

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

DisabledGo Staffordshire University is a recognised   Investor in People. Sustain Staffs
Legal | Freedom of Information | Site Map | Job Vacancies
Staffordshire University, College Road, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2DE t: +44 (0)1782 294000