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Title: New professionals in the classroom : Higher Level Teaching Assistants and primary schools : from policy to practice
Author: Sendorek, Rosslyn Jane
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 2009
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The introduction of Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) in 2005 is arguably one of the most controversial, and significant, changes to school staffing since teaching became an all-graduate profession in the 1970s. This study focuses on the first two years of the HLTA policy in four primary schools which adopted the HLTA role from its outset. Data from semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and a study of documents are used to build case studies which demonstrate how the HLTA role has evolved somewhat differently in the four schools, raising the question of the effects of practitioners upon policy at the local level. Using the policy cycle (Bowe et al 1992) as a theoretical framework, the study draws upon the literature on professionalism (Whitty 2008) and professional learning communities (Bolam et al 2007), on leadership (Fullan 2001, 2007) and micropolitics (Ball 1987), and on Stephen Ball's (1997, 2008) more recent work on policy analysis, to consider the power of primary practitioners to influence and reinterpret policy, thus adding to our understanding of the policy process. The study suggests that although there remains considerable ambiguity around perceptions of the HLTA role in schools nationally (Pye Tait 2006), in the case study schools, there has been evidence of strong and committed leadership for the HLTA project from the headteachers, and a well defined and widely accepted professional HLTA role has emerged in each site. It concludes that an understanding of, and commitment to, policy intentions within the 'context of practice' (Bowe et al 1992) can be crucial to the realisation of policy-makers' goals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available