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.
Meet the team
MITA Lead, UCL Institute of Education
I'm an Associate Professor, based in the Centre for Inclusive Education, UCL Institute of Education. I lead the Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants initiative, and I'm currently directing the EEF-funded Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants project, and I deliver the MITA school improvement course for school leaders.
I've worked on a number of research projects focusing on the use and impact of TAs, including the ground-breaking Deployment and Impact of Support Staff project and its follow-up study, the Effective Deployment of TAs project. I co-directed the Making a Statement study and now the SEN in Secondary Education study, both of which focussed on the educational experiences of pupils with SEND.
I've written extensively on these topics and my publications include: the Education Endowment Foundation's Making the Best Use of Teaching Assistants guidance report; two acclaimed books: Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants and The Teaching Assistant's Guide to Effective Interaction; and numerous papers, many of which can be downloaded via the research pages on this website. I'm also an occasional blogger for Tes.
My latest book (pub. Jan 2019) is called Including Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Learning and Life: How Far Have We Come Since the Warnock Enquiry – and Where Do We Go Next? The book marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark Warnock Enquiry into special education.
Outside of research, I've had five years experience of working as a TA and I've also worked as a local authority SEN Officer, managing the statutory assessment process and school placements.