Raising achievement, enhancing learning and empowering staff
This section looks at the next steps for the use of teaching assistants in your school.
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.
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.
To assist you we have produced a process for Acting on the evidence, which Senior Leadership Teams have previously found useful in managing changes in TA deployment and use.
The steps in the cycle relate to other resources we have referred to in the course, all of which are summarised here. The icon in the top right hand corner tells you which stage in the process the resource refers to.
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.
Finally, as you are looking to embed new approaches you may want to create a policy document articulating a shared understanding of TA deployment, use and training in your school. The template below provides a starting point for this, with some suggestions of areas you might want to cover (e.g. recruitment, performance review, deployment).