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.
This campaign aims to support schools unlock the potential of their teaching assistants and is based on the
Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants guidance report.
We've also produced a range of free additional resources to go alongside the report, which you can find below.
EEF email series - Supporting pupils with SEND
Direct to your inbox - five evidence-based recommendations to support pupils with SEND, providing a starting point for schools to review their current approach and practical ideas they can implement.
Ten reasons to improve the use of TAs
A poster on the importance of improving the use of Teaching Assistants
'Acting on the evidence’ process
Refer to this school improvement cycle to manage changes in TA deployment and use. Contains key principles to support successful implementation.
A self-assessment guide
Assess current practice and monitor progress against the report's recommendations using the Red Amber Green (RAG) ratings.
Online audit surveys
TA observation schedule
Collect data to aid your understanding of how TAs are deployed in classrooms across the school.
Create a clear vision for your TA workforce. Define what great TA deployment and practice will look like in your school.
Action planning template
Structure your thinking around reframing the use of TAs, and develop action plan points to realise your vision.
TA policy update
Create a policy articulating a shared understanding of TA deployment, use and training in your school.
Teacher-TA agreement template
Support staff to develop and specify their coordinated, but differentiated, roles during lessons.
Help TAs scaffold pupils’ learning and encourage independent learning.
Interventions health check
Consider how TA-led interventions are being delivered in your school in line with the research.
Evidence-based TA-led literacy and numeracy interventions
Adopt evidence-based TA-led interventions that have previously been shown to impact positively on pupil attainment.