Rob Webster, researcher, UCL Institute of Education.
Teaching assistants (TAs) are an indispensable part of the school workforce, yet much-publicised research has found the support they provide has no effect on pupil attainment. The reason for this has little to do with TAs themselves, but with the decisions made by school leaders and teachers about how they are deployed. The evidence shows schools tend to use TAs in ways that inhibit their potential rather than release it. This session sets the record straight on the headlines about teaching assistants' use and impact. It sets out evidence-based principles and practical strategies for rethinking the role of TAs to ensure they make a meaningful contribution to teaching and learning.
- The current context: why school leaders need to rethink the role of teaching assistants and maximise their contribution to teaching and learning
- Understanding the research underpinning better practical guidance
- Exploring key recommendations for deploying TAs effectively in classrooms and TA-led interventions outside the classroom
- How school leaders can begin acting on the evidence: resources and tools to review current use of TAs and plan for changes that will enhance the contribution of TAs.
School leadership teams in mainstream primary, secondary and specialist settings.
Rob leads the Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants (MITA) initiative. He is also directing the MITA trial, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation. Rob has researched and written extensively on the topics of teaching assistants and special educational needs.