Raising achievement, enhancing learning and empowering staff

This section looks at the next steps for the use of teaching assistants in your school.

Raising achievement, enhancing learning and empowering staff​

As we draw the course to a close, thoughts inevitably turn to what comes next. How do you take the ideas and guidance outlined here and translate them into effective change in your school?

Strategy plays a big part.

By strategy we mean a clear, well-conceived plan which can underpin your drive for change. Without a strategy, there is a risk that you will start well but then run out of steam. Or, you might get going, only to find yourself uncertain about where to go next in a few months’ time. The strategy you create should take account of your school’s context, as well as the different aspects of the guidance. It needs to include the creation of a TA development team and clarity over what success will look like.

In addition, your strategy should include input from other members of staff. While you will be driving the attempt to maximise the impact of teaching assistants in your school, everybody, especially your TAs needs to know that they are an integral part of the changes you are advocating.

A strategy document doesn’t need to be lengthy and cumbersome. In fact, it is often best when the reverse – concise, specific and easy to use. We have produced a process for acting on the evidence, which can be found below. 

  1. Updated: 29th September, 2016

    4. 'Acting on the evidence’ process

    101 KB pdf - TA_Supplementary_Acting_on_Evidence.pdf

    Refer to this school improvement cycle to manage changes in TA deployment and use. Contains key principles to support successful implementation.

The school improvement model shows a cycle that Senior Leadership Teams have previously found useful and includes a checklist of key steps. Each of the other keys tools includes an icon in the top right hand corner indicating which part of the model the resource relates to. 

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    7. TA observation schedule

    121 KB pdf - TA_Supplementary_Observation_Framework.pdf

    Collect data to aid your understanding of how TAs are deployed in classrooms across the school.

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    8. Visioning exercise

    95 KB pdf - TA_Supplementary_Visioning_Exercise.pdf

    Create a clear vision for your TA workforce. Define what great TA deployment and practice will look like in your school.

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    9. Action planning template

    97 KB pdf - TA_Supplementary_Action_Plan.pdf

    Structure your thinking around reframing the use of TAs, and develop action plan points to realise your vision.

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    10. TA policy update

    239 KB pdf - TA_Supplementary_TA_Policy_Template.pdf

    Create a policy articulating a shared understanding of TA deployment, use and training in your school.

Here is an example of a skeleton strategy, sketched out across twelve months, to help you get started

  • Month 1 – Complete the course; share the guidance with staff across school; show videos in briefing.
  • Month 2 – Lead staff meeting about the guidance; develop a vision; create a TA development team.
  • Month 3 – Discuss the vision with TA development team; develop, modify and amend it; define what success will look like; communicate the vision to all staff.
  • Months 4 - 6 – Identify the most pressing areas for change; start to implement changes (for example, in deployment); meet regularly with TA development team to reflect on and monitor impact of changes.
  • Months 7 & 8 – Formal review of changes; critical discussion with TA development team about where you are, where you were and where you want to go next.
  • Months 9 - 11 – Existing changes are tweaked; second set of changes introduced; communicate to whole staff; continue to work with TA development team.
  • Month 12 – Detailed review of where you are at; analysis of what has changed and how these changes have impacted on staff and pupils; joint decision over next steps.