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Teaching assistants DO improve results after all

Discussion in 'Education news' started by phlogiston, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter


    Teaching assistants, whose contribution to learning has been called into question in recent years, have been shown to improve pupils’ attainment, two studies show.

    Schools spend £4bn a year – or 10% of the total education budget – on 24,000 TAs, but some headteachers have cut back on numbers after previous research raised doubts about the impact of TAs on learning.

    The latest research, however, shows that when TAs are used in a focused way – to deliver structured, high-quality support to small groups or individual children – pupils make an additional two to four months’ progress.

    What a surprise. Mrs P and I are gobsmacked.
    delnon likes this.
  2. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

  3. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    A few years ago, the Government enthusiastically promoted research suggesting that TAs had no effect and encouraged many schools to cut the numbers of TAs.
  4. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I think that was the report issued in 2009 ? Anyway the delivery is only as effective / good as the deliverer. From my experience TAs in many settings have not been deployed according to a clear, cohesive rationale and have not been the subject of 'needs led ' CPD or recipients of PM targets ( individual and whole school).
  5. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    The Lambe report in 2009 was scornful of the impact that TAs have on positive outcomes for pupils. Now, I believe, from information I saw the other day, that TAs are regarded as having a low impact (1 month) for high cost.
  6. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I think that some excellent TAs impact hugely on the well being / mindset / attitude / performance / social skills / listening skills of the students they work with ( and indirectly the staff whose classrooms they share ). However this is often difficult to measure and can be anecdotal in nature. Schools need to focus on formalising this contribution and evidencing this. It is of value. Positive outcomes are not just about months gained on a RA.

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