In March 2015 the Education Endowment Foundation published Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants, a guidance report for teachers and school leaders. Previous research had shown that in many English schools teaching assistants were not being used in ways that improve pupil outcomes. However, recent research demonstrates that when they are well trained and used in structured settings with high-quality support and training, teaching assistants can make a noticeable positive impact on pupil learning.
The EEF is funding number of local ‘advocate partners’ in South and West Yorkshire to provide support and training to schools to help them make the most of the recommendations in its report.
Every Child Counts is currently working as one of these advocate partners, supporting senior leaders in 56 schools in the Rotherham area to ‘bring the evidence to life’ and unlock the potential of their teaching assistants through a range of engagement activities. The project will be evaluated by Sheffield Hallam University.
The EEF is also providing funds to enable schools in the region to benefit from access to successful evidence-based interventions which use TAs. This will include a trial of the Every Child Counts 1stClass@Number intervention in 130 schools from September 2016.