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Title: Support for the supporters : perceptions of support for support staff in comprehensive schools and the role of the educational psychologist
Author: Heslop, Laura
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 2238
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2012
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Support staff are perceived to be highly important to schools in Britain (Department for Education (DfE), 2011; Department for Educational and Skills (DfES), 2000). The dramatic increase in support staff within schools has led to a range of roles being developed, impacting on their training and development needs (Training and Development Agency (TDA), 2010a), and those “involved in employing, managing, supporting and training them” (Alborz et al., 2009, p.4). Whilst guidance is available to schools (for example, Training and Development Agency (TDA), 2010c) there is a lack of evidence regarding the forms of support available to support staff in schools, or what is helpful, in order to carry out their role effectively and develop professionally. A qualitative approach was adopted to explore perceptions of support for support staff and the role of educational psychologists. Questionnaires, focus groups and individual interviews were utilised to gather the views of secondary school support staff, senior management team members and educational psychologists. Thematic analysis identified key themes relating to enabling support staff to feel supported within their roles, and the role of educational psychologists in working with support staff. Findings suggest that, being valued, included and involved is important to support staff feeling supported. Relationships with other members of support staff and school staff in addition to a school’s overall ethos were identified to have considerable influence on facilitating these aspects. Lack of clarity regarding the role of educational psychologists and their role in supporting support staff was also identified. Tentative suggestions are made regarding how schools might enable support staff to feel supported, and how EPs might widen their roles with support staff. In light of the findings, areas for further research are considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools