“Tales of a Teaching Assistant (TA)” (Area 3)

Roshni Patel, Samantha Howells, Emily Hubbard, Andrew Wilks, Eleanor French, Sophie Cross, Kathryn Woodward, Gemma Taylor, Sarah Murray and Emily Beaman and Suzanne Lawson (IoE)

The number of Teaching Assistants employed by schools accounts for 25% of the school workforce (243,700) yet ‘pupils receiving the most TA support made less progress than similar pupils who received little or no TA support.’(Russell, Webster and Blatchford 2013:p.2). The PGCE secondary course has trainees with significant prior experience of working as teaching assistants in schools. The project made use of trainees’ experiences by developing course materials (including a short video) which were then disseminated to 170 trainees as part of the professional studies course. All the trainees taking part in the SAP project had at least 12 months TA experience. The TA team planned, delivered and evaluated the workshops to provide practical advice and support for trainee teachers when working with TAs (including other adults). They were keen to share their experiences so that fellow trainees could learn how to work with TAs to ensure that pupils make progress, use research informed-practice to develop best practice by offering advice based on what can be learnt from the trainees’ experiences as a TA.

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