This report summarises research to the barriers to and drivers for participation in the Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) scheme from a range of stakeholders in schools and the wider system.
This is the latest release
The researchers spoke to a number of stakeholders with interest in the HLTA scheme.
Case study visits to schools where staff had gone through the scheme were undertaken with:
- Higher Level Teaching Assistants
- teaching assistants (TA) who have not gone through the scheme
- teaching staff.
Further interviews were conducted with representatives from:
- Regional Education Consortia
- trade unions
- Education Workforce Council
- headteachers of schools who have not participated in the HLTA scheme
- HLTA scheme briefers and assessors.
- The main conclusion drawn from the research is that the scheme is clearly valued across the sector and warrants on-going support
- Widespread awareness of the HLTA scheme by stakeholders did not translate into understanding of the scheme. Most school staff and even some briefers and assessors referred to it as a ‘qualification’ or as a process of becoming a ‘qualified’ HLTA.
- Career progression was the underlying rationale of the scheme amongst all stakeholders. This was also the key driver and motive for TAs to participate in the scheme,
- Teachers who worked with HLTAs recognised associated benefits that come with professional development, in terms of increasing confidence in TAs and raising their status in the school.
- A number of HLTAs said they would not have participated in the scheme had there not been a guaranteed HLTA post at the end of it, this lack of a HLTA post was also a key barrier for why TAs chose not to participate
- TAs mentioned that the additional responsibilities and/or workload associated with the HLTA role were not reflected by the increase in income for the role.
- Advantages for schools relate to finance and resource planning – HLTA status allows for planned teacher cover and/or emergency absence to be covered more efficiently and cheaper – particularly reducing the need for supply cover.
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