Using your teaching assistants (TAs) effectively
Get to grips with where best to place the TAs in your school to reduce teachers' workload and maximise pupil outcomes.
- In lessons: TAs should complement teachers, not replace them
- Outside the classroom: use TAs for short, sustained interventions
- Before and after lessons: TAs can complete non-teaching tasks to reduce teachers' workload
- Encourage teachers and TAs to communicate responsibilities
- Train TAs to maximise their effectiveness
- Clearly define the role in job descriptions
In lessons: TAs should complement teachers, not replace them
Pupils should first receive high-quality teaching to address their needs and struggling pupils should have as much time with the teacher as other pupils.
Rotate roles – the teacher works with 1 group on a task and the TA works with another. The next day, they rotate roles so all pupils get equal access to the teacher Get involved with whole-class delivery – for example, use TAs to write answers on the whiteboard, or demonstrate equipment. This will allow the teacher to maintain eye contact with the class Provide 'teacher triage' – the TA identifies pupils who need further help with a task and flag this to the teacher Prepare pupils for learning – the TA helps pupils prepare and get focused for the lesson Focus on additional objectives – the TA can guide pupils on