Best Practice

Case study: Graduate teaching assistants

Properly trained and deployed teaching assistants can have a huge impact on pupil outcomes. Furthermore, the use of graduate teaching assistants can also support your school’s recruitment and training strategy, as Tom Donohoe explains

If you have been in education long enough, you will remember the headlines: “Teaching assistants fail to improve school results!” Or: “Hundreds of millions of pounds spent drafting teaching assistants into schools has failed to improve pupils’ performance, according to research.”

I am sure we all remember the Deployment and Impact of Support Staff (DISS) research project carried out by the UCL Institute of Education that looked at which factors had a positive impact on the performance of pupils. On the face of it, it found no positive relationship between the support given by teaching assistants and the progress and attainment of the pupils they work with.

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