The development of support staff was a key aspect of the Labour government’s reform of the school workforce in England. As part of this strategy approximately 25,000 Teaching Assistants (TAs) gained Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) status and were deployed in schools in a variety of roles often operating in a quasi-teaching role. The research re-visits individuals who had acquired HLTA status between 2006 and 2009 and had participated in a questionnaire survey regarding their role at that time. A duplicate questionnaire was distributed in 2013 to 305 of these HLTAs and was followed up in 2014 by face to face and on-line focus groups with a self-selecting group from the original sample. To date there has been little research relating to the development of the HLTA role and the implications this has for both teachers and pupils, particularly in terms of provision for the most vulnerable learners.