Schools in disadvantaged areas more likely to rely on teaching assistants

Schools in working disadvantaged areas have a much higher pupil-to-teaching assistant ratio than those in more affluent areas.

Spending on teaching assistants in England’s schools has more than trebled since 2002 with 15p in every pound now being spent on education support staff. Teaching assistants now make up a quarter of the school workforce – 260,000 professionals.

And an analysis from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) has found that teaching assistants are more likely to be found in schools in disadvantaged areas.

In 2019, there was a ratio of 72.5 pupils per teaching assistant across England’s secondary schools. However, schools in poorer areas have 55 pupils per teaching assistant. The figure rises to 92 pupils per teaching assistant for schools in affluent areas.

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