Teaching assistants are an integral part of classroom life, yet pioneering research by the authors has shown schools are not making the most of this valued resource. Evidence shows the more support pupils receive from TAs, the less academic progress they made. Yet the reason for this has little to do with TAs. It is decisions made about them by school leaders and teachers that best explain this provocative finding.
The fully updated second edition of this book draws on the experiences of schools that have put this guidance into action via the Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants programme. Revised to reflect the latest research evidence and changes within education, including the 2014 SEND Code of Practice, this book will help school leaders and teachers in primary and secondary settings to rethink the role, purpose and contribution of TAs, and add real value to what can be achieved in classrooms.
Setting out a field-tested process, structured around a coherent and empirically sound conceptual framework, this book:
- helps school leaders review, reform and reenergise their TA workforce
- provides practical strategies to implement in the classroom
- illustrates key points with new case studies
- provides photocopiable templates and resources to support decision-making and action.
Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants provides much-needed and evidence-informed guidance on how to unleash the huge potential of TAs, and is essential reading for all school leaders.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. The case for change: Why do schools need to rethink the role of TAs? 2. Conducting an audit of current practice 3. Defining your vision 4. The deployment of TAs 5. The practice of TAs 6. The preparedness of TAs 7. Conclusions Appendices Notes References Index
Rob Webster is a researcher at the UCL Institute of Education, London, UK, where he also leads the Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants programme. He has previously worked as a teaching assistant in mainstream and special schools.
Anthony Russell was a researcher at the UCL Institute of Education, London, UK, and has previously worked as a teacher, science adviser and deputy director of the APU science team at King’s College, London, UK.
Peter Blatchford is Professor in Psychology and Education at the UCL Institute of Education, London, UK, and has directed large-scale research programmes on class size, support staff and collaborative group work.
This highly informative, accessible book will help schools to transform the way they use teaching assistants, focusing on the quality of support rather than quantity, and greatly increasing their positive impact on the progress and attainment of pupils. An essential read for heads and teachers.
- Sir John Dunford, Chair of Whole Education
At their best, teaching assistants transform young lives. This happens when the leadership and management of TAs is excellent. This important book sets out a framework for excellence. It not only explains how achieving excellence takes time, planning, commitment and determination, but also describes good practice case studies throughout.
- Marc Rowland, author and Deputy Director, National Education Trust
This book is a must read for all school practitioners, including trainee teachers. Based on relevant and recent research, it provides a comprehensive set of ideas for unlocking the full potential of all the adults working with our children. From creating a shared definition of the TA role, to ideas for training and development, this book will not only help ensure children make excellent progress, but also see that TAs feel valued and recognised for the job they do.
- Helen Crowther, Deputy Headteacher, Beech Hill School, Halifax
The authors frame complex issues in compelling and accessible language [and] translate research findings into practical applications for the classroom.
- Michael Giangreco, Center on Disability and Community Inclusion, University of Vermont
This book is an invaluable resource for school leaders. Teaching assistants make up a significant proportion of the education workforce and their effective deployment and practice are crucial aspects of school improvement. This book brings together recent national and international research, and provides schools with a systematic process to improve the status, management and impact of its TAs.
- Sue Briggs, author and SEND consultant