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.
Professional Standards for Teaching Assistants
Originally commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE), the release of the draft standards was twice delayed before the Secretary of State decided not to publish them at all. Following this decision, representatives from UNISON, the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), the National Education Trust (NET) and Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants, and others interested in promoting the professional work of TAs, were granted permission by the DfE to endorse and publish the standards in place of the government.
The TA standards are non-mandatory and non-statutory, but they sit alongside the statutory standards for teachers and headteachers. They help to define the role and purpose of TAs to ensure that schools can maximise the educational value and contribution of adults working with pupils. The TA standards are additionally supported by recommendations made in the Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants guidance report, published by the Education Endowment Foundation.