This paper examines the massive increase in numbers of support staff in mainland UK schools over the last few years. It looks at the proliferation and growing importance of their roles, and at the failures to establish firmly the professional status of these personnel. It compares and contrasts the UK situation with that in other democratic countries. The paper draws some important conclusions about the radical nature of the change to understanding concepts of education, teaching and learning that are implicit in these developments. An attempt is made to explore the value of a post-modernist approach in examining issues about the employment and deployment of support staff in schools. The implications of this approach for school leadership are discussed
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