Teaching assistants: ​EEF publishes updated guidance to support schools achieve greater impact

380,000 teaching assistants (TAs) are employed across the country, at an annual public cost of some £5 billion, but previous research had shown that in many schools they were not being deployed in ways that improve student outcomes. Indeed, for students from poorer backgrounds the impact of TAs was too often negative.

However, EEF trials have demonstrated that, when they are well-trained and used in structured settings with high-quality support and training, TAs can make a noticeable positive impact on pupil learning.

To support schools in achieving this, in 2015 the EEF published its first guidance report, Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants. Written by the EEF's Prof. Jonathan Sharples, together with Rob Webster and Prof. Peter Blatchford, both at the UCL Institute of Education, it made seven clear and actionable recommendations.

Since then, the EEF has added a number of resources to support the implementation of this guidance report. This new material has now been incorporated online to bring the guidance up-to-date. It can be freely read and downloaded here.

EEF Blog: Improving mathematics - why starting early is crucial

EEF Blog: Improving mathematics - why starting early is crucial Download PDF get_app

New EEF guidance published with 5 recommendations to improve early maths

New EEF guidance published with 5 recommendations to improve early maths Download PDF get_app

Improving Mathematics in the Early Years and Key Stage 1

Five recommendations to support practitioners in developing the maths skills of 3-7 year-olds

Improving Mathematics in the Early Years and Key Stage 1 Download PDF get_app

‘The 7 things 100 RCTs tell us about the attainment gap’

‘The 7 things 100 RCTs tell us about the attainment gap’ Download PDF get_app

Use high quality targeted support to help all children learn mathematics

Use high quality targeted support to help all children learn mathematics Download PDF get_app

Ensure that teaching builds on what children already know

Ensure that teaching builds on what children already know Download PDF get_app

Use manipulatives and representations to develop understanding

Use manipulatives and representations to develop understanding Download PDF get_app

Dedicate time for children to learn mathematics and integrate mathematics throughout the day

Dedicate time for children to learn mathematics and integrate mathematics throughout the day Download PDF get_app

Develop practitioners’ understanding of how children learn mathematics

Develop practitioners’ understanding of how children learn mathematics Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: The Voices informing Teacher Choices

EEF Blog: The Voices informing Teacher Choices Download PDF get_app

Invitation for expressions of interest to be a peer reviewer

Invitation for expressions of interest to be a peer reviewer Download PDF get_app

Donations to Sunday Times Christmas Appeal in partnership with EEF top £1 million

Donations to Sunday Times Christmas Appeal in partnership with EEF top £1 million Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: What does research say about the application of cognitive science approaches in the classroom?

EEF Blog: What does research say about the application of cognitive science approaches in the classroom? Download PDF get_app

Review of evidence on cognitive science approaches

We're commissioning a systematic review of the evidence about the application of cognitive science in the classroom.

Review of evidence on cognitive science approaches Download PDF get_app

Digital technology (2019)

Evidence review commissioned to support the Using Digital Technology to Support Learning guidance report.

Digital technology (2019) Download PDF get_app

EEF partners with The Sunday Times on its Christmas appeal 2019

How you can support schools in disadvantaged areas putting on holiday activities for children

EEF partners with The Sunday Times on its Christmas appeal 2019 Download PDF get_app

New £1.5 million partnership to help scale up EEF Promising Projects

New £1.5 million partnership to help scale up EEF Promising Projects Download PDF get_app

Behaviour

Evidence review commissioned to support the Improving Behaviour in Schools guidance report.

Behaviour Download PDF get_app

Two new EEF evaluation reports published

Two new EEF evaluation reports published Download PDF get_app

EEF statement: re-publication of the evaluation of school breakfast clubs

EEF statement: re-publication of the evaluation of school breakfast clubs Download PDF get_app

Foreign language learning and its impact on wider academic outcomes: a rapid evidence assessment

Foreign language learning and its impact on wider academic outcomes: a rapid evidence assessment Download PDF get_app

Regional Lead (East Midlands and East) (closed)

We're looking for a Regional Lead for the East Midlands and East of England

Regional Lead (East Midlands and East) (closed) Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: Does research on ‘retrieval practice’ translate into classroom practice?

EEF Blog: Does research on ‘retrieval practice’ translate into classroom practice? Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: Teacher Choices needs Teacher Voices!

EEF Blog: Teacher Choices needs Teacher Voices! Download PDF get_app

New EEF podcast: ‘Exit Interview’ with Sir Kevan Collins – is teaching becoming more evidence informed?

New EEF podcast: ‘Exit Interview’ with Sir Kevan Collins – is teaching becoming more evidence informed? Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: How can schools manage change and make it stick?

EEF Blog: How can schools manage change and make it stick? Download PDF get_app

Putting Evidence to Work - A School’s Guide to Implementation

A guide to implementation applicable to any school improvement decision

Putting Evidence to Work - A School’s Guide to Implementation Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: Is quick, cost-effective and robust evaluation of education interventions possible?

EEF Blog: Is quick, cost-effective and robust evaluation of education interventions possible? Download PDF get_app

EEF partners with The Sunday Times Christmas appeal to support schools serving disadvantaged families

EEF partners with The Sunday Times Christmas appeal to support schools serving disadvantaged families Download PDF get_app

Embedding Formative Assessment (re-grant)

Embedding Formative Assessment (re-grant) Download PDF get_app

Improving teacher and pupil feedback - EEF scales up Embedding Formative Assessment programme

Improving teacher and pupil feedback - EEF scales up Embedding Formative Assessment programme Download PDF get_app

IIT: A systematic review of attainment measures (closed)

IIT: A systematic review of attainment measures (closed) Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: Randomised controlled trials - 3 good things, 3 bad things, and 5 top tips

EEF Blog: Randomised controlled trials - 3 good things, 3 bad things, and 5 top tips Download PDF get_app

School Choices: EEF funding round 2

Funding for research teams to test how the different choices schools make lead to different outcomes for pupils

School Choices: EEF funding round 2 Download PDF get_app

EEF publishes new evaluation report on the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP)

​Changes to early learning goals reduce teacher workload, but mixed views on whether they leave children better prepared

EEF publishes new evaluation report on the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) Download PDF get_app

New EEF podcast looks at social and emotional learning

Trialled and Tested: Social and Emotional Learning

New EEF podcast looks at social and emotional learning Download PDF get_app

Foundations for implementation - implementation climate

Foundations for implementation - implementation climate Download PDF get_app

Foundations for implementation - structured process

Foundations for implementation - structured process Download PDF get_app

School’s Guide to Implementation online course

An interactive online course, which guides you through some key activities in the guidance report. The course contains two video case studies of schools that have used the guide to support changes in practice.

School’s Guide to Implementation online course Download PDF get_app

Evaluation Manager (closed)

We're recruiting for a new Evaluation Manager

Evaluation Manager (closed) Download PDF get_app

New EEF research points way to closing disadvantage gap by 38% in primary schools

New EEF research points way to closing disadvantage gap by 38% in primary schools Download PDF get_app

Guest Blog: What is the best way to tackle maths at the primary/secondary transition?

Guest Blog: What is the best way to tackle maths at the primary/secondary transition? Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: ​Teacher choices - can we make complex findings actionable?

EEF Blog: ​Teacher choices - can we make complex findings actionable? Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: ​The Pupil Premium – focusing on what matters

EEF Blog: ​The Pupil Premium – focusing on what matters Download PDF get_app

EEF announces Prof. Becky Francis as new Chief Executive

Sir Peter Lampl, founder of the Sutton Trust and Chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), has announced the appointment of Professor Becky Francis as the EEF’s new Chief Executive.

EEF announces Prof. Becky Francis as new Chief Executive Download PDF get_app

Three new EEF trials announced, including focus on improving outcomes for children with SEND

Three new EEF trials announced, including focus on improving outcomes for children with SEND Download PDF get_app

Children’s University (re-grant)

Children’s University (re-grant) Download PDF get_app

Headsprout Early Reading Evaluation in Special Schools

Headsprout Early Reading Evaluation in Special Schools Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: When is a word not a word?

EEF Blog: When is a word not a word? Download PDF get_app

Primary pupils’ reading skills boosted by programme which gets them to question texts

Primary pupils’ reading skills boosted by programme which gets them to question texts Download PDF get_app

The Midland Academies Trust – Connecting Maths Concepts

The Midland Academies Trust – Connecting Maths Concepts Download PDF get_app

Improving Social and Emotional Learning in Primary Schools

Six recommendations for improving social and emotional learning in primary schools

Improving Social and Emotional Learning in Primary Schools Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: Social and emotional learning - supporting schools to move beyond ‘what we do already’

EEF Blog: Social and emotional learning - supporting schools to move beyond ‘what we do already’ Download PDF get_app

Prioritise social and emotional learning to avoid “missed opportunity” to improve children’s outcomes - new EEF guidance

Prioritise social and emotional learning to avoid “missed opportunity” to improve children’s outcomes - new EEF guidance Download PDF get_app

Plan, support, and monitor SEL implementation

Plan, support, and monitor SEL implementation Download PDF get_app

Reinforce SEL skills through whole-school ethos and activities

Reinforce SEL skills through whole-school ethos and activities Download PDF get_app

Use a SAFE curriculum: Sequential, Active, Focused and Explicit

Use a SAFE curriculum: Sequential, Active, Focused and Explicit Download PDF get_app

Plan carefully for adopting a SEL programme

Plan carefully for adopting a SEL programme Download PDF get_app

Integrate and model SEL skills through everyday teaching

Integrate and model SEL skills through everyday teaching Download PDF get_app

EEF publishes new review of evidence on parental engagement

EEF publishes new review of evidence on parental engagement Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: Pop Quiz - What’s the best way to start a lesson?

EEF Blog: Pop Quiz - What’s the best way to start a lesson? Download PDF get_app

Content Specialist (Multiple Locations) (closed)

We are recruiting for four specialist positions, covering: Literacy/English, Numeracy/Maths, Science and Learning Behaviours (behaviour, self-regulation and metacognition).

Content Specialist (Multiple Locations) (closed) Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: Teacher Choices Trials - our new approach to researching questions teachers want answers to

EEF Blog: Teacher Choices Trials - our new approach to researching questions teachers want answers to Download PDF get_app

Guest Blog: The Vital Importance of Vocabulary in Maths

Guest Blog: The Vital Importance of Vocabulary in Maths Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: The Best Laid Plans of Secondary Literacy

EEF Blog: The Best Laid Plans of Secondary Literacy Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: How the EEF identifies our Promising Projects (and what we do next)

EEF Blog: How the EEF identifies our Promising Projects (and what we do next) Download PDF get_app

Three new programmes added to list of EEF Promising Projects

Three new programmes added to list of EEF Promising Projects Download PDF get_app

Learning Language and Loving It (TM) - The Hanen Program® for Early Childhood Educators

Learning Language and Loving It (TM) - The Hanen Program® for Early Childhood Educators Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: ​Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants - what have we learned so far about supporting schools to put evidence into action?

EEF Blog: ​Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants - what have we learned so far about supporting schools to put evidence into action? Download PDF get_app

Internship: Development Researcher (closed)

Internship: Development Researcher (closed) Download PDF get_app

EEF publishes first scale-up evaluations

Evaluating campaigns to promote effective use of evidence

EEF publishes first scale-up evaluations Download PDF get_app

Suffolk Challenge Fund

Partnership with Suffolk County Council’s Raising the Bar programme

Suffolk Challenge Fund Download PDF get_app

In addition, this week the EEF launched a new 11-week email series based on the guidance report – more than 800 people have so far signed up to receive the report in bite-sized chunks direct to their inbox. You can subscribe free here:

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