The role of teaching assistants

Class Teaching

The 15 minute forum tonight was led by our SENCO, Carole Marsh.

Assumptions about the effectiveness of teaching assistants

Until recently there has been very little research on the impact of TAs.  Traditional deployment has been based on 2 untested assumptions …

  1. Support from TAs leads to positive outcomes for students … particularly low attaining and those with SEN

2. There are positive effects for teachers

Recent research suggests …

  • Teaching assistants having little impact on student achievement (Hattie)
  • The cost of Teaching Assistants as a support intervention is high (Coe)
  • The problem doesn’t lie with TAs but with the way we ask them to work (Webster)

The ‘Deployment and Impact of Support Staff study’ by the Institute of Education also points to minimal impact on student achievement.  It does however recognise that there are benefits on behavioural, emotional and social development.

Overall, research shows that students in a class with…

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