This paper will draw upon research with a group of work-based students studying for a Foundation Degree in Educational Support. Case studies of these work-based students highlight 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 is now 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 has 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 practice effectively. This is increasingly necessary and expected rather than voluntary and teaching assistants are rarely remunerated for this. Some evidence supports that this has become part of the ‘culture’ of the teaching assistant profession and further research is needed to explore the potential impact of this upon teaching assistant potential to improve the learning of students.
Bovill, H. A case study of teaching assistants’ conditions of employment and workload: Reliance upon teaching assistants’ goodwill and ad hoc systems of preparation time. Manuscript submitted for publication