Using your Teaching Assistants effectively – 7 key steps

Since the mid Nineties, we have seen a continued rise in the number of Teaching Assistants (TAs) and other classroom support staff employed by schools to assist teachers and increase pupil achievement.

Roughly 10% of the education budget is currently being spent on employing support staff. The issue now for many senior leaders is to think carefully about the role additional adults play in their school and how to use teaching assistants effectively.

There’s plenty of evidence to prove that they can have a positive impact on the outcomes and development of pupils when used effectively. TAs and other additional adults can help to support the classroom teacher, reducing stress, workload and disruption, whilst also working with pupils to promote and encourage independent learning.

Using your teaching assistant effectively – 7 key steps

A 2015 report from the Education Endowment Fund (EEF) looked at Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants.

Here are the EEF’s 7 key steps to using TAs and support staff effectively.

  • TAs should not be used as an informal teaching resource for low-attaining pupils
  • Use TAs to add value to what teachers do, not replace them
  • Use TAs to help pupils develop independent learning skills and manage their own learning
  • Ensure TAs are fully prepared for their role in the classroom
  • Use TAs to deliver high quality one-to-one and small group support using structured interventions
  • Adopt evidence-based interventions to support TAs in their small group and one-to-one instruction
  • Ensure explicit connections are made between learning from everyday classroom teaching and structured interventions

Download the full guidance report from the EEF here.

Training for effectively using your TA

Training for teachers and senior leaders

Our programme Effectively Deploying Teaching Assistants is aimed at supporting classroom teachers and senior leaders in maximising the impact of extra adult support. It focuses on developing knowledge and practical classroom skills.

Training for TAs and support staff

BTSA has been working with TAs for the past three years and our Effective Classroom Support programme was quality rated in 2015 by CUREE (Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education). Our CPD provision was also shared nationally at The Key For School Leaders Increasing The Impact of Your Teaching Assistants Conference in London in 2015.

Find out more about both of these training course here.

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