Best Practice

Getting the best out of your teaching assistants

CPD Support staff
How do you get the best out of your teaching assistants? Colin McLean speaks to a Bristol primary headteacher about making your teaching assistants a key part of your school’s success

Bristol teaching assistant Alison Carpentier was one of nine winners of the 2016 Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) of the Year awards. She received the South West regional award following her nomination by colleagues at her school, Glenfrome Primary, in the Eastville district of Bristol.

While it was a much deserved recognition of Alison’s contribution to the success of the school, her award – and the accolades received by eight other regional winners – also symbolises the important role teaching assistants play at Glenfrome and thousands of other primaries across the country in supporting children and staff.

The 355-pupil school is in a challenging area of Bristol and the 22-strong team of teaching assistants – or learning support assistants (LSAs) – play no small role in supporting children in their learning. Used well, teaching assistants can make a vital contribution, supporting teachers and assisting pupils. There is also now good guidance on how best to use teaching assistants available from the Education Endowment Foundation’s Teaching and Learning Toolkit (see link below). In addition, we have sought some advice from Glenfrome headteacher Inger O’Callaghan:

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