As an HLTA in a primary school I know I can confidently say that the role I play within the school is respected by those Teaching Assistants I work alongside and the teachers throughout school I support.
I cover PPA lessons from Years 1 to 6 so my ability to differentiate is paramount. On a recent residential with Year 6 I had a group meeting with other members of staff to discuss work needed for my studies and discovered that my Year 6 teacher would hate to teach maths in Year on and vice verce. On that evidence it shows that support staff are more adaptable within the school.
I regularly cover core subjects so my knowledge in English and maths has to be of a high standard. I am currently working to achieve a BA in Primary learning with the Open University.
I have the same relationship with the children as any other teaching assistant but also the respect from the children that is given to the teachers in school. To the children I am always Mrs Kay who teaches us when teachers are away from class, but still the samr Mrs Kay who listens to our learning issues/friends issues and behaviour issues.
Hope this feedback helps with your research.
Tracey (HLTA Bradford)