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Teaching Assistants don't want to undermine teachers.

Teaching Assistants don't want to undermine teachers.

Teaching assistants are not dealing with unruly pupils because they are afraid of undermining teachers, according to new research.

A study by Northampton University found that TAs felt “awkward” about their place in the classroom.


And while TAs thought that they should be managing children’s behaviour, Emma Clarke, the study's author and a former primary teacher, found that there was little time for teachers and TAs to talk about how this should be done.

The research, based on in-depth interviews with 30 TAs from 18 schools, found that TAs were relying on guesswork and experience to guide how they managed pupils.

“None of the TAs in this study had ever had a conversation with a teacher about their role in classroom discipline, yet each of them believes it is part of their job,” Dr Clarke said.

“This uncertainty results in TAs feeling too awkward and uncomfortable to manage behaviour, as they don’t develop a clear understanding of the boundaries or their ‘place’ in the classroom.

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