Best Practice

Inclusion: How to plan lessons with your teaching assistant

How can we work and plan with teaching assistants to support inclusion and learning for SEN and other pupils throughout the lesson? Sara Alston offers some pointers

The focus of teaching assistant support in lessons tends to be on the teaching assistant supporting a child during individual working.

For much of the rest of the lesson teaching assistants are often either passively listening to the teacher, focused on behaviour management, or indeed are absent completing admin tasks or leading interventions.

However, to ensure that teaching assistants have the biggest impact, they need to be supporting learning throughout the lesson.

In our book The Inclusive Classroom (2021), Daniel Sobel and I identified the importance of using small tweaks and adaptations to support inclusion throughout five phases of the lesson (see SecEd, 2020). Effective teaching assistant deployment is a key element of this.

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