In the past few years there has been a huge growth in the range and number of support staff in schools but previous research provides only limited information on the deployment and impact of support staff in schools.
This brief is based on results from Strand 2 Wave 1 (with some additional material from Strand 1 Wave 1) and describes findings on: the deployment of all categories of support staff; the impact of support staff on teachers and teaching and pupil learning and behaviour; and the impact of the National Agreement (NA) on pupils, teachers and support staff.
This study, summarised in this document, used a multi-method approach, combining quantitative and qualitative methods, to obtain a detailed and integrated account of the deployment and impact of support staff. It combined numerical data on connections with pupil and teacher outcomes, with qualitative, interpretive analysis of processes in schools connected to the effective deployment of support staff.
Data were collected over the school year 2005/6. The findings from Strand 1 Wave 1 have enabled this study to classify support staff into seven categories based on the similarities in tasks they perform: TA Equivalent, Pupil Welfare, Technicians, Other Pupil Support, Facilities, administrative and Site.