The Association of Teachers and Lecturers, which commissioned the research, called for improved training for the assistants, but advised teachers to boycott the supervision and training of helpers if the duties meant an unreasonable extension of their workload.
Classroom assistants are adults, often parents, who support primary teachers with tasks such as listening to children read.
Jills Of All Trades?, pounds 5, Leicester University School of Education, Despatch, ATL, 7 Northumberland Street, London WC2N 5DA. Tel: 0171 930 6441. Lucy Ward