The total number of TAs working in English schools is down for the first time ever – but encouraging signs from the MITA project show how a strategic focus on TAs can unlock their potential.
Blog Archive of: DISS project
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.
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.
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?
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.
17 December 2014
Back in January, we predicted that 2014 could be the year of the teaching assistant. So as the year ends – and as MITA celebrates its first birthday! – it’s a good time to reflect on what the year has meant for TAs, and what 2015 might bring. Here’s our review of the year.
10 October 2014
The new MITA website will not just promote and publicise our research and consultancy activities, but aims to become a hub for greater collaboration with schools and to help grow the link between research and practice.
26 September 2014
The Government might have “no plans or any powers” to address issues of TA employment, but the MITA programme is encouraging schools to seize the initiative and get results...