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Helen Bovill

Abstract

This paper draws upon research with a group of work-based students studying for a Foundation Degree in Educational Support. It highlights levels of goodwill evident within their day to day planning and preparation and the ad hoc nature of opportunities for teachers and teaching assistants to work together for planning and feedback purposes. This paper will demonstrate evidence that the high workload experienced by teachers may now be experienced by some teaching assistants.  Main findings presented are that as teaching assistants’ roles have become more pedagogically focussed, opportunities to plan and prepare with teachers have become essential to their role. However, time for teachers and teaching assistants to plan and prepare together is not a priority. Many teaching assistants increasingly spend their own time planning and preparing to be able to practise effectively. Some evidence here suggests this is expected rather than voluntary and has become part of the ‘culture’ of the teaching assistant profession. Further research is needed to explore this.

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Articles