Staff deployment & development

Quality of teaching is an important driver of pupil attainment and a range of other outcomes. Professional development and staff deployment are important tools for improving the quality of teaching that pupils receive.

Maximising the quality of teaching through the effective development and deployment of teachers and teaching assistants will therefore be at the top of any school’s priorities.

This page describes existing EEF evidence on how teaching staff can be effectively deployed and supported to develop their skills through Continuing Professional Development (CPD). 

Evidence Summary

The type and quality of CPD that schools use really matters when it comes to improving teacher quality and pupil attainment. The Teacher Development Trust has carried out a review of the international research which presents the best available evidence on which approaches to professional development appear to be most effective.

The EEF project Thinking, Doing, Talking Science provided teachers with five days of structured CPD on specific practices, and dedicated time to work with colleagues to plan and review lessons. The results suggest that the programme had a positive impact on science attainment. The evaluation of the Anglican Schools’ Partnership Effective Feedback project highlighted some of the difficulties of developing effective and relevant CPD: the report concluded that the support sometimes lacked structure and teachers often struggled to interpret, understand and apply findings from the literature to their own practice.

Performance pay schemes are another tool used by some schools to improve teaching quality. These schemes create a direct link between a teacher’s wages or bonus, and the performance of their class. The few, existing, rigorous evaluations of performance pay schemes suggest that they have not, on average, had an impact on pupil outcomes. However, this evidence is not conclusive and it is hard to make causal claims about the efficacy of performance pay on the basis of the limited existing evidence.

The EEF’s Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants guidance report presents the best available evidence regarding the deployment and development of teaching assistants. The report makes seven evidence-based recommendations to help schools maximise the impact of teaching assistants. Previous research has shown that, in many English schools, teaching assistants are not being deployed in ways that improve pupil outcomes (for example, they are replacing rather than supplementing teaching from qualified teachers). However, there is a growing evidence base – including six new EEF evaluations – which suggests that when they are used to deliver structured programmes with high-quality support and training, teaching assistants can have a positive impact on pupil learning. 


The Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants guidance report and supporting resources can be downloaded below. More information on the EEF's campaign to promote the best use of Teaching Assistants can be found here

The Teacher Development Trust published a review of effective professional development for teachers: Developing Great Teaching: Lessons From The International Reviews Into Effective Professional Development.

  1. Updated: 8th February, 2016

    1. Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants

    303 KB pdf - TA_Guidance_Report_MakingBestUseOfTeachingAssisstants-Printable.pdf

    A printable version of the guidance report

  2. Updated: 8th February, 2016

    TA Report- Interactive

    1 MB pdf - TA_Guidance_Report_MakingBestUseOfTeachingAssisstants.pdf

  3. Updated: 8th February, 2016

    Interventions Health Check

    28 KB pdf - TA_InterventionsHealthCheck.pdf

  4. Updated: 8th February, 2016

    Self Assessment Guide

    446 KB pdf - TA_RAG_SelfAssessmentGuide.pdf

  5. Updated: 8th February, 2016

    2. Summary Of Recommendations

    27 KB pdf - TA_RecommendationsSummary.pdf

    A poster summarising the seven recommendations in the guidance report

  6. Updated: 8th February, 2016

    TA Slide Stack

    2 MB pptx - TA_SlideStack.pptx

    Powerpoint presentation