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Evaluating professional development opportunities for Teaching Assistants within a South Wales college


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Author: Clair Charalambous, Bridgend College.
Presented at the Research - Teaching in Wales 2011 Conference, 13th - 14th September, Gregynog Hall, Newtown (Powys)

Published in: Education, Career
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Evaluating professional development opportunities for Teaching Assistants within a South Wales college

  1. 1. An evaluation of professional development opportunities for Teaching Assistants in a South Wales College<br />Clair Charalambous<br />
  2. 2. To evaluate the curriculum offered at a South Wales college for Teaching Assistants<br />21% increase in support staff in Wales (Blatchford et al 2009)<br />Increase in responsibilities within this role, including specialist and teacher type responsibilities (Burgess and Shelton-Mayes 2009)<br />Increased uptake of high level training for this sector (Blatchford et al 2009)<br />Rationale<br />
  3. 3. Questionnaires<br />Distributed to all schools within the LEA <br />Focus Group<br />Comprising a range of TAs from across the LEA working in a range of settings at a range of levels.<br />Interviews<br />With key stake holders in the LEA, university and college.<br />Document Analysis<br />Of a range of job descriptions from within the LEA at different levels in different settings.<br />Methodology<br />
  4. 4. Questionnaires<br />37% Overall response<br />Results also analysed between sectors.<br />Responses analysed and comparisons drawn with the curriculum offered at the college<br />Interviews and Focus Groups<br />Results transcribed and themes identified<br />Results analysed between sectors.<br />Comparisons drawn with the curriculum offered at the college<br />Document Analysis<br />Themes were identified and supported by cross coder analysis.<br />A training gap analysis highlighted parallels and omissions within the college curriculum. <br />Analysis of Results<br />
  5. 5. Positive Correlations with Curriculum<br />Clear progression route <br />Opportunities to specialise are offered at appropriate levels<br />Issues largely addressed at appropriate levels and within suitable time frames, in particular ALN.<br />Confidence in practice, and advanced career opportunities<br />Findings<br />
  6. 6. Primary and Secondary Settings<br />Very distinct roles and requirements<br />Qualification and Employment<br />Below level 3 TAs tend to be employed at a higher level than their qualifications<br />Conversely above level 3 many TAs hold qualifications above the level they are employed at.<br />Qualification Profile<br />No level 1 or 2 qualification<br />No job descriptions beyond level 4 <br />Work Based Learning<br />Lack of vocational assessment at level <br />Findings<br />
  7. 7. For College:<br />Introduce a level 2 qualification<br />Develop links between schools and college<br />Ensure flexible delivery of FDs to ensure they are appropriate for all sectors<br />Specialist modules to be offered at level 4<br />For LEA:<br />Formalised induction training for unqualified staff<br />Creation of specialist or management type roles<br />Create role and sector specific job descriptions<br />Recommendations<br />