Assessing TA preparedness means evaluating how well-prepared TAs are for the lessons in which they are working. This means asking question such as:
- What liaison time do teachers and TAs have?
- How do teachers and TAs communicate? Do they communicate? Are there clear expectations about what needs to be communicated?
- Do TAs feel they arrive at lessons fully briefed and ready to support learning as effectively as possible?
- What good practice is already happening in school and what practice needs to be improved?
- How are the leadership team setting expectations for TA preparedness? And what are they doing to support this?
Again the RAG self-assessment tool is a good way to elicit accurate information about the current state of TA preparedness, as well as the online audit surveys available through the MITA website.
We might imagine a situation in which a leadership team believes TAs are well-prepared for their role. On conducting an analysis, however, they discover that this contrasts with the views of the TAs themselves, who feel they are not provided with sufficient time in which to liaise with teachers, and do not know the key information underpinning the lessons in which they are working. Getting such information out into the open is really important.
Cases like this are common to many organisations and illustrate the fact that management and non-management perspectives can at times become disconnected. Often, this is nobody’s fault but simply a result of the different experiences the two groups have. One of the benefits of conducting an anonymous audit of existing practice, and including everybody in this process, is that it gives you a great opportunity to respond positively by making well-informed changes.