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Research on intevention strategies and detrimental effect of TAs

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by billandsplodge, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. billandsplodge

    billandsplodge New commenter

    Please can someone point me in the direction of the research on SEN that shows that removing children from the classroom/providing TA support actually has a negative effect on their learning?
    Thanks. [​IMG]
     
  2. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    Can I ask why? It seems to go against common sense and good practice in my opinion!
     
  3. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I see where u r coming from. There is a theory that students can become too dependant on the support.Inclusion should mean exactly that.
     
  4. The good old 'velcro-attached classroom assistant'.
    I'm not sure if the research you are looking for is for academic purposes or not in which case what I'm about to provide is certainly not the most thorough approach. If it is for academic purposes then I would recommend a proper literature search, if not you might find page 17 of this document a useful starting point. You can start with the literature cited and follow up the appropriate references from there.
    http://www.tda.gov.uk/teacher/developing-career/sen-and-disability/sen-training-resources/one-year-itt-programmes/~/media/resources/teacher/sen/pgce/task16.ashx


     
  5. Far from it.
     
  6. Sorry, that last reply sounds critical and it is not intended as such.
    The OP seems to be asking about the value an extraction model of support and usefulness of classroom assistants. Common sense and good practice are not necessarily one and the same. I think it is healthy to take a critical view of the advantages and disadvantages of the extraction model; similarly it is worth reflecting on the role of the classroom assistant. The value of classroom assistants is evident and is supported by research, however the extent to which the 'velcro attached ' model is of benefit as compared to the more flexible use of classroom assistants is questionable. I think it was Penny Lacey who wrote a research paper on this a few years ago in which the findings showed that it classroom assistants working with groups rather than individuals was more effective.
     
  7. Classroom assistants are not trained as teachers, so although they may be able to deliver a particular task, their skills in extending an activity, or understanding why a child is having difficulties, may not be so well developed. Therefore, the child's learning could suffer.
     
  8. billandsplodge

    billandsplodge New commenter

    Hi, thanks for all your replies - sorry it's taken this long to get back to the thread, life got in the way!
    I'm a new Inclusion Manager and had a very interesting discussion this week with our Head of Inclusion at the LA re: intervention strategies/TAs/removing from the classroom vs staying with the class, etc. She mentioned in this discussion some research that had been done 'proving' a negative affect on learning for children removed from the classroom.
    The reason I was looking for this research is that I'm trying to think strategically about my role and how I can be most effective in the school. There has been no IM in place for a couple of years and I have the feeling that some of the teachers see part of my role as to take their challenging kids off their hands for a bit so they can get on with teaching! I'm not keen on the extraction model, even of groups, but wanted to get my head round why before I start making a case for it with my HT!
    I think she mentioned something about the Webster paper - does that ring any bells?
     
  9. billandsplodge

    billandsplodge New commenter

    Just looked at your link ragpicker and it looks like the reference I need is in there - thank you [​IMG]
     
  10. Forgive my chipping in - I hope it may prove helpful.
    I've worked as a TA and LSA in primary and secondary schools respectively. In my first, the primary, I was not involved in 'extraction' and, indeed, there wasn't a lot of it about. There were I think a couple of literacy/phonics groups who were taken out of class by TAs who had had specific and careful training. The school was, if I remember, 99.7% Pakistani Muslim in catchment, so English literacy was its biggest demand, and challenging behaviour was very, very rare and low level.
    Migration south eventually brought me to my second school, a secondary, larger and with a broader catchment, and with a higher incidence of 'challenging behaviour'. My own work has been as one of those velcro-attached supporters of individuals with ASD children.
    In my case and in that of my co-workers, extraction per se only occurs when the behaviour of the child we support is such that it is too disruptive of the classes which we attend with them. That is, from time to time, an issue, but it is an issue which largely stems from two sources; the lack of differentiated work provision and the imposition on the school, by the LEA, of children whose needs are actually beyond those we are supposed to cater for.
    An associated problem is 'setting', when subject students are separated into high, medium and low ability groups. The lack of differentiated work contributes to some of our children struggling, which struggling frequently leads to them being deposited in 'low ability' groups. Because low ability groups tend also to accommodate the most disruptive and challenging of mainstream students they provide an environment which is inimical to the advancement of children who are not, themselves, challenging, and extraction sometimes then occurs because the child cannot function in the environment provided.
    I hope some of that makes sense.
    Best wishes,
    R.



     
  11. My apologies,
    I forgot to point out a couple of matters.
    Few of my support worker colleagues are enamoured of the velcro-attachment model. A case is made that our children in particular benefit from a level of constancy in who supports them, but if the desire is for inclusion - most of us would argue - it is probably better that our children become accustomed to at least a moderate level of change. From time to time, support workers (who struggle to make a career out of £10 to £13000 a year) move on to other posts and other employments, so it is arguable that the loss of the 'constant' support worker may have more impact on the pupil than it otherwise might.
    We do not, either, perform as 'velcro attachments' if we can avoid it. In the case of some very needy pupils it is unavoidable but, by and large, we try to support all the children in the class.
    Paying peanuts does sometimes mean that you'll get monkeys in the post, though you'll probably most often find surprisingly talented and able people doing it. Velcro attachment to an inadequate LSA is not something I would wish on any child.
    R
     
  12. I think the research you refer to is from the IoE, called the DISS project - Deployment and Impact of Support Staff.
    http://www.ioe.ac.uk/study/departments/phd/5619.html
    The findings are that (unsurprisingly) the children who receive constant support from a TA and miss out on direct teaching from the teacher make less progress than the other children.
     
  13. One of the guys was called Rob Webster so that would be the link above.
    Hope this is helpful.
     
  14. billandsplodge

    billandsplodge New commenter

    Thank you, that's all really helpful stuff.
    Personally I'm not a great fan of extraction but it's fairly ingrained so I think it will take some time to turn the culture around - where there's a will there's a way though!
     
  15. We must not forget that the needs of the individual child should also be at the heart or core of decisions being taken about what level of support is needed and how that should be delivered.
    In the case of a child who has a Statement of SEN, very often their needs are based upon Speech and Language (communication) issues. A S&L programme will often need to be delivered in a room with no distractions, background noise etc. Therefore the child will be withdrawn either individually or as part of a small group. These conditions also have to be provided for children who need that extra bit of help to process information and therefore require a different style of teaching.
    The main negative effect I have seen on children being withdrawn is down to the quality of the TA working with the child/children. Well run intervention groups can be brilliant, but a poorly educated TA, with poor language skills, no understanding of specific learning profiles (probably a training issue) can be a complete waste of time.
    Inclusion can and does work, but it is down to the will of the individuals working with the child to make that happen and sadly we are far from living in an ideal world.
     
  16. Fuzzybrainjo

    Fuzzybrainjo New commenter

    It may be worth looking at it from another approach and consider how effective the interventions are by looking at the progress the children make and how this links in with their NC progress and how they transfer it in the classroom. I have been told by my SEN officer that children should make double rate progress through an intervention. Obviously in an ideal world, but progress should be measured. If you feel the intervention isn't effective then, yes, the children may be better off with differentiated support and work in the classroom to help them access the lesson.
    In my school we have lots of children that go out with TA's and while some of the groups are effective and the children do make progress there are others that I need to consider.
    The culture that I feel needs changing (definetly in my school) is that if a child hasn't made progress through the intervention it's not the child but maybe the intervention or the way it has been delivered, therefore a training need for the TA or a different intervention.
    There are some children who can really benefit from small group work outside of the classroom it does depend on the quality of what is being delivered.


     
  17. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Agree - can be as much as about quality of the delivery . Too few colleagues are unsure of the success criteria attached to the intervention and are found wanting in evaluating whether it has been / is cost beneficial in terms of time and funding.
     

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