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Despite budgets coming under increasing strain, schools are spending around £4 billion per year on Teaching Assistants (TAs). It is vital therefore that these paraprofessionals have the skills and guidance necessary to effectively support pupils with a range of learning requirements, as well as be given frequent opportunities for their own development and growth.
Facilitating efforts to improve the deployment of TAs, in 2015 the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) published Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants, outlining seven research-based recommendations to enhance TAs’ effectiveness. These have been used to inform the Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants (MITA) Project, running in over 100 schools until July 2019. The EEF is also supporting pilots in Yorkshire, where £5 million is being invested into utilising TAs to close attainment gaps between rich and poor pupils, and in Lincolnshire where strategies to improve standards of TAs in schools are being led by the local authority.
In addition, the Professional Standards for Teaching Assistants, published in June 2016 by a coalition of sector leaders including NAHT, Unison and the MITA Project, are now acting as a clear source of guidance for senior leadership teams, teachers and TAs around what is expected from all stakeholders. To maximise the benefits of these Standards however, peer-to-peer learning and sharing of best practice is essential to ensure that the move to enhance inputs for and outcomes from TAs continues to be evidence-based.
It is therefore imperative for school leaders and teaching and learning support practitioners to join together and develop high quality, coordinated strategies to increase TAs’ capacity to have a greater impact on pupils’ education experience.
This one day forum provides attendees with an opportunity to discuss how to raise the quality of teaching assistants (TAs) throughout schools in order to maximise their impact. Following the roll out and implementation of the Professional Standards for Teaching Assistants’ guidance, participants will explore research-informed interventions developed by the Education Endowment Foundation, and the latest evidence around effective deployment of TAs. Attendees will develop and understanding of how to increase development opportunities for TAs to improve the level of support provided to pupils and raise attainment.
Key speakers include:
• Rob Webster, Director, Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants (MITA) Project and Researcher, UCL Institute of Education
• Dr Jonathan Sharples, Senior Researcher, Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and Co-Author, Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants.
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