Bland, K. and Follett, J. (2007) An investigation into the use and deployment of Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) in a Northamptonshire Technology College. Paper submitted to the Northamptonshire County Council, November 2007
This report is an investigation as to the use and deployment of Higher Level Teaching Assistants at Lodge Park Technology College in Corby. The research was funded by Northamptonshire County Council and involved interviewing HLTAs, Teaching Assistants, Heads of Departments with HLTAs in their departments and Heads of Departments where HLTAs are not currently deployed. The findings of each set of semi structured interviews were discussed and used in the formulation of a set of recommendations for the Technology College. These were concerned with the use of HLTAs and TAs for administrative tasks, the need to formulate job descriptions, need for HLTAs and TAs to plan with teachers, greater clarity as to the role of HLTAs and TAs, a reconsideration of pay grades for HLTAs and TAs, the attachment of HLTAs and TAs to subject departments, increased opportunities for subject training for HLTAs and TAs and finally greater clarity as to the line management role of HLTAs and TAs. These recommendations were in line with the recently published research by NFER (2007) funded by the TDA which identified 6 steps for schools to consider namely: take a whole school review of staffing; consult with HLTAs about a specialist role; allocate HLTAs to staff teams and develop teamwork; define role requirements and responsibilities; raise awareness of the HLTA role among staff and parents and finally support and develop HLTAs in their role, including continuing professional development, performance reviews, resource allocation (especially planning time) and role/career development.