Blog

After the gold rush: Funding, staffing and uncertain times

15 December 2016

​Research evidence can’t offer certainties, but it can help school leaders make better decisions.

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The Magnificent Seven: The compelling evidence on TA impact and where we go next

30 October 2016

The evidence on deploying TAs to deliver out-of-class interventions is unarguable. Our new MITA project aims to show that up-skilling TAs and carefully rethinking their use within classrooms can unleash their full potential.

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​What I’ve learned from the teaching profession (or why you can’t ever have enough of experts!)

28 September 2016

Our work with the Education Endowment Foundation has shown how the teaching profession and researchers can unite around the evidence to co-construct solutions for making better use of teaching assistants. In this blog, Rob Webster reflects on what he has learnt from working closely with those at the chalk-face.

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When it comes to SEND support, it's quality that matters. Does banding offer a fresh approach?

15 August 2016

The quantification of support for pupils with EHCPs, often expressed in terms of TA hours, is central to holding schools and local authorities to account. Yet research suggests the quantity of SEND support is prioritised over the quality. One local authority's novel approach to hours, which offers schools greater flexibility over provision, has been labelled "unhelpful" and "unlawful" by a leading SEND solicitor. But is there a wider, less talked about, disconnect in the way legal and teaching professionals conceptualise SEND support?

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After delays and debacle, new professional standards for TAs are here

10 June 2016

22 months after they were commissioned, new professional standards for TAs have been published. And the come with some heavyweight backing.

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Educational Excellence Everywhere? A solution to the teacher recruitment crisis is right in front of us

19 March 2016

The new education white paper has capacity building at its core. But with the emphasis on leadership and a new managerial architecture, has the Dept for Education missed a trick in addressing the teaching crisis in the classroom?

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Making headlines: The problem of wide coverage and narrow reporting

28 February 2016

What happens when provocative findings from educational research get wide coverage, but are narrowly reported? What are the risks to policymakers, practitioners and researchers? Rob Webster shares his experience of helping schools make sense of the headlines about teaching assistants.

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The TA Professional Standards: How the DfE turned an easy win into an own goal

15 October 2015

The DfE’s decision not to publish the draft standards for teaching assistants is disappointing, self-defeating and leaves the Government’s commitment to the professional status and development of TAs in tatters. Will they ever see the light of day.....?

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Why the hold up? The DfE can show they value the role and contribution of TAs by publishing the professional standards NOW!

11 September 2015

The government has admitted to another delay to the publication of the new professional standards for teaching assistants, but nothing would show a greater statement of intent and support for schools by getting them out there now. After all, the timing couldn’t be better…

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The power and potential of teaching assistants’ talk

01 September 2015

How can we connect TAs with the kinds of practice that have a measurable impact on achievement? Our new book, The Teaching Assistant’s Guide to Effective Interaction, aims to grow schools' capacity and opportunity for the valuable types of classroom talk that improve pupils' independence and their relationship with learning.

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