How well deployed are your teaching assistants?

The more that research is carried out into the link between well-deployed teaching assistants and pupil outcomes, the more we see the impact they can have, says Joanna Parry

I have never doubted the hugely positive impact that teaching assistants (TAs) make in schools, not just on pupil attainment but also in providing pastoral support and making it easier for teachers to focus on teaching.

Over the years, UNISON has collected plenty of supporting evidence for this from school leaders, parents and teachers, as well as TAs themselves. Headteachers in particular have told us that they appreciate the role of TAs in structured and targeted interventions, support for teachers, liaison with parents, as well as links with other agencies.

TAs have been even more prominent during the pandemic. We have collected hundreds of examples of how TAs have supported pupils through our “Stars in our Schools” annual celebrations. Here’s just a taster:

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