Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants

The EEF is working to support schools unlock the potential of their teaching assistants.

Previous research had shown that in many English schools teaching assistants are not being used in ways that improve pupil outcomes. However, recent research demonstrates that when they are well trained and used in structured settings with high-quality support and training, teaching assistants can make a noticeable positive impact on pupil learning.

The best available evidence on teaching assistants is presented in a new report, Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants, published in Spring 2015.

The report makes seven evidence-based recommendations to help schools maximise the impact of teaching assistants.

The recommendations presented in the report will inform a £5 million EEF investment to improve the impact of TAs, focused on primary schools in West and South Yorkshire, a region where the attainment gap between rich and poor pupils is large and there are a significant number of schools with a high percentage of disadvantaged pupils.

A range of EEF resources provide support to schools to make best use of teaching assistants:

  1. TA Report- Printable

    303 KB pdf - TA_Guidance_Report_MakingBestUseOfTeachingAssisstants-Printable.pdf

    A printer-friendly version of the Guidance Report, Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants.

  2. Interventions Health Check

    28 KB pdf - TA_InterventionsHealthCheck.pdf

    Identify the characteristics of effective interventions

  3. Self Assessment Guide

    446 KB pdf - TA_RAG_SelfAssessmentGuide.pdf

    Assess current practice and monitor progress against the report's recommendations

  4. Summary Of Recommendations

    27 KB pdf - TA_RecommendationsSummary.pdf

    A poster summarising the report's seven key recommendations

  5. A document to help users act on the evidence in the report.

    32 KB pdf - Acting_on_Evidence_process.pdf

Additional resources can be accessed below: 

  1. TA Slide Stack

    2 MB pptx - TA_SlideStack.pptx