Best Practice

Getting the best from your teaching assistants

The role of teaching assistants in the classroom has been much debated in recent years. Jo Coates looks at the evidence and discusses the impact these vital professionals are having on attainment, including with the Pupil Premium.

“The difference I make is to children’s health, wellbeing, safety and happiness – this enables them to attain.”

So says one of 8,000 respondents to UNISON’s latest survey on TAs, carried out in the autumn last year. It adds to the mounting evidence begun by the DISS (Deployment and Impact of Support Staff) research into the impact of school support staff.

Research has highlighted a variety of good and poor practice in schools. Given the broad range of duties TAs perform, there is no simple way to define or evaluate their role. Giving examples of impact on attainment, other respondents in our survey said: “I deliver the daily speech and language for a child with verbal dyspraxia. He is just starting to talk” and “I ran a maths club and a pupil who asked for extra lessons with me achieved a C – two grades higher than predicted.”

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting SecEd and reading some of our content for professionals in secondary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcast

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday and Thursday


Already have an account? Sign in here