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.

Chief Executive’s Letter: School closures - the disadvantage gap may widen, but there are practical steps we can take to minimise it

Chief Executive’s Letter: School closures - the disadvantage gap may widen, but there are practical steps we can take to minimise it Download PDF get_app

Supporting schools through the Covid-19 crisis - EEF and Sunday Times launch new appeal

Supporting schools through the Covid-19 crisis - EEF and Sunday Times launch new appeal Download PDF get_app

Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools

Five recommendations on special education needs in mainstream schools

Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools Download PDF get_app

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Download PDF get_app

Work effectively with teaching assistants

Work effectively with teaching assistants Download PDF get_app

Complement high quality teaching with carefully selected small-group and one-to-one interventions

Complement high quality teaching with carefully selected small-group and one-to-one interventions Download PDF get_app

Ensure all pupils have access to high quality teaching

Ensure all pupils have access to high quality teaching Download PDF get_app

Build an ongoing, holistic understanding of your pupils and their needs

Build an ongoing, holistic understanding of your pupils and their needs Download PDF get_app

Create a positive and supportive environment for all pupils without exception

Create a positive and supportive environment for all pupils without exception Download PDF get_app

EEF statement on school closures

EEF statement on school closures Download PDF get_app

​Guest Blog: How our school leadership became more evidence informed

​Guest Blog: How our school leadership became more evidence informed Download PDF get_app

See full evidence reviews underpinning EEF guidance reports

See full evidence reviews underpinning EEF guidance reports Download PDF get_app

Regional Implementation Lead (RIL)

Regional Implementation Lead (RIL) Download PDF get_app

Guest Blog: Top 7 Tips for Researchers Working with Schools

Guest Blog: Top 7 Tips for Researchers Working with Schools Download PDF get_app

Chief Executive’s Letter: What does R&R mean to the EEF?

Chief Executive’s Letter: What does R&R mean to the EEF? Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: ​What can 63 EEF trials tell us about closing the attainment gap for young people with social care experience?

EEF Blog: ​What can 63 EEF trials tell us about closing the attainment gap for young people with social care experience? Download PDF get_app

Systematic review of evidence on feedback: call for proposals

Systematic review of evidence on  feedback: call for proposals Download PDF get_app

​Three new EEF evaluation reports published

​Three new EEF evaluation reports published Download PDF get_app

Can teaching GCSEs over three years help boost grades? New EEF grant to find out

Can teaching GCSEs over three years help boost grades? New EEF grant to find out Download PDF get_app

What works at Key Stage 4, two or three years of study?

What works at Key Stage 4, two or three years of study? Download PDF get_app

New EEF grants announced, including three focusing on maths from the early years through to GCSE

New EEF grants announced, including three focusing on maths from the early years through to GCSE Download PDF get_app

TEEM UP: Teaching Effective Early Mathematical Understanding in Primary Schools

TEEM UP: Teaching Effective Early Mathematical Understanding in Primary Schools Download PDF get_app

Thinking, Doing, Talking Science (second re-grant)

Thinking, Doing, Talking Science (second re-grant) Download PDF get_app

EEF announces expansion of Research Schools Network

EEF announces expansion of Research Schools Network Download PDF get_app

Becky Francis: “Surface-level compliance is the biggest threat to any change in education”

Becky Francis: “Surface-level compliance is the biggest threat to any change in education” Download PDF get_app

EEF Blog: Reading aloud with your class – what does the research say?

EEF Blog: Reading aloud with your class – what does the research say? Download PDF get_app

Privacy notice for job applicants

Privacy notice for job applicants Download PDF get_app

Privacy notice for EEF grantees and suppliers

Privacy notice for EEF grantees and suppliers Download PDF get_app

Guidance on data protection for grantees delivering or evaluating an EEF-funded project

Guidance on data protection for grantees delivering or evaluating an EEF-funded project Download PDF get_app

Guidance on data protection for schools and settings involved in an EEF-funded project

Guidance on data protection for schools and settings involved in an EEF-funded project Download PDF get_app

Privacy notice for identified potential or current supporters

Privacy notice for identified potential or current supporters Download PDF get_app

Privacy notice for individual donors

Privacy notice for individual donors Download PDF get_app

Privacy notice for those attending an EEF-organised event

Privacy notice for those attending an EEF-organised event Download PDF get_app

Privacy notice for subscribers to EEF emails

Privacy notice for subscribers to EEF emails Download PDF get_app

Privacy notice for funding applications

Privacy notice for funding applications Download PDF get_app

Privacy notice for website users

Privacy notice for website users Download PDF get_app

Privacy notice - information that we need to tell everyone

Privacy notice - information that we need to tell everyone Download PDF get_app

Chief Executive’s Letter: The EEF’s is a story of two gaps

Chief Executive’s Letter: The EEF’s is a story of two gaps Download PDF get_app

Bitesize evidence - weekly EEF email series

Bitesize evidence - weekly EEF email series Download PDF get_app

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

Social and Emotional Learning Evidence Reviews

Social and Emotional Learning Evidence Reviews Download PDF get_app

Invitation for expressions of interest to be a peer reviewer (closed)

Invitation for expressions of interest to be a peer reviewer (closed) 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 (closed)

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 (closed) 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 (closed)

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

School Choices: EEF funding round 2 (closed) 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

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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