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.
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.
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