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Title: Voices from the classroom : an exploration of the perceptions of teaching assistants
Author: Roffey-Barentsen, Jodi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2709 3200
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2011
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This research gave voice to teaching assistants, exploring their experiences and perceptions, in terms of their backgrounds, roles and responsibilities, experiences whilst studying on an NVQ programme, support from their schools, their aspirations and the progression routes available to them. A small-scale phenomenological study approach was adopted, aimed to interpret and explain human actions and thought through descriptions, capturing first person accounts. Qualitative data was collected from focus group interviews. The research found that the main entry route into the role of teaching assistant was that of parent-helper at the school their child(ren) attended. Previous employment was varied, however, previous skills and experience was not drawn upon or utilised by the schools. Differences in job titles were not reflected by the roles performed by the participants. Support from their schools for undertaking qualifications was limited and participants had little knowledge of progression routes available to them. The research concluded that there is a need for a transparent career structure, which indicates levels of responsibility. Linked to this should be nationally recognised qualifications, which every member of support staff would have to gain, at the appropriate level for the role they fulfil. Wages should reflect the roles and associated qualifications, bringing about a clearer picture of the job of ‘teaching assistant’.
Supervisor: Murray, J. ; Tissot, C. ; Taylor, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Learning support assistants ; Special needs assistants ; Voice ; Classroom assistants ; Phenomenology