I was delighted to Chair the Westminster Briefing event on Effective Use of Teaching Assistants.
It was great to hear from speakers including Jon Richards at Unison and Katie Harrison from ATL on the value of Teaching Assistants and from frontline staff including Suzanne Scrivens and Claire Keilty with examples of deployment in practice. Nancy Gedge was as ever powerful on how schools should work with parents to help create a shared vision for outcomes for a child with SEND.
Some of the links shared at the event are likely to be of use for others exploring this issue so I have summarised them below.
www.tareview.com a free to download Review Guide created as part of Whole School SEND
http://maximisingtas.co.uk/ Rob Webster at Centre for Inclusive Education at UCL provides a site packed with resources and guidance and leads on the current Education Endowment Foundation research on TA deployment
The UNISON site has a range of free resources including the TA Standards
Suzanne Scrivens helpfully highlighted that while the Guidance for the NOS for school support staff has been withdrawn the standards themselves provide a useful frame and the Teacher Professional Development Standards are also a relevant resource given that the government guidance suggest that consideration should also be given to their application to other staff who work to support both academic and wider educational outcomes.
Delegate Michael Loncaster Head of Molescroft Primary School explained how they had used Lesson Study as a professional development tool for both teachers and TAs.
The event gave much to think about – including how we school culture might need to evolve to use TAs differently and on models for line management and professional development. This is something we will reflect on in both our consultancy work as and part of Every Child Should as part of a wider response over the months ahead – particularly in light of ongoing concerns around increasing cuts to teaching assistants and other school staff.