This collection is part of a series of bitesize CPD units to support teaching assistants (TAs) with their professional learning journey. These units offer insights into best practice in supporting children and young people, building on the latest evidence base. They are designed to develop knowledge around a range of topics relevant to TAs.
These topics include:
- Supporting students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
- Supporting students with English as an Additional Language (EAL)
- Supporting students to develop literacy skills
- Fostering positive behaviour, relationships and learning environments
- Working effectively with teachers, parents and the wider community
- Developing effective learners
- Developing curriculum knowledge
These CPD units incorporate a range of content types to support professional learning and reflective practice, including:
- Research summaries and reviews that summarise the latest evidence base
- Case studies from practising TAs, teachers and school leaders
- Webinars and video content delivered by leading experts in the field
- Reflective questions to support the learning
- Reading lists signposting further sources and support
Whilst much of the content is from the perspective of researchers, school leaders and teachers, it is both useful and relevant to TAs. Moving forward, we would like to expand our knowledge base by including voices and expertise of TAs. We invite you to use this padlet to begin sharing your reflections, experiences and expertise to support other teaching assistants with their professional learning journey.
Fostering positive behaviour, relationships and learning environments
TAs play an important role in managing student behaviour in the classroom. The role of a TATeaching Assistant - an adult that assists the teacher in th... More requires interactions with a wide range of students on a daily basis, supplementing teacher input and providing one-to-one support and small group intervention. Consequently, TAs play a crucial role in upholding whole-school policy and promoting positive behaviour and relationships in a range of settings. Equally, TAs can play an active role in supporting the classroom teacher to manage behaviour of students in the classroom. This often reduces pressures on classroom teachers and allows for more time to focus on teaching and learning (DfEDepartment for Education - a ministerial department responsi... More, 2019; EEF, 2021).
Over the last two decades, TAs have been increasingly tasked with providing specialist support for students with behavioural, social and emotional needs (EEF, 2021). This is partially driven by a greater push for inclusionAn approach where a school aims to ensure that all children ... More of students with additional needs into mainstream settings (EEF, 2021). As well as delivering academic interventions, TAs are regularly tasked with developing so-called ‘soft skills’, including improving students’ motivation, engagement, self-esteem, resilience and ability to communicate effectively with others (DfE, 2019). In recent years, the level of need has arguably increased and so have the demands on TAs (DfE, 2019). Due to a lack of funding and resources in state education, TAs are regularly tasked with providing more specialist support for students with complex and challenging behavioural needs (DfE, 2019). This situation has been further exacerbated by the recent pandemic. Many TAs are now providing continued support for the growing number of students (and their families) with pastoral needs, both in and outside the classroom (Hall & Webster, 2022). In light of this situation, it is imperative that TAs are provided with appropriate guidance, resources and training to address the complex behaviourial needs of the students in their care. This unit aims to support TAs to develop their knowledge of a range of evidence-informed strategies to improve student behaviour and foster positive relationships and learning environments. It also provides TAs with the tools to consider how they might implement these strategies effectively in their unique contexts.
Moving forward, we hope to build on this knowledge base by drawing on the experience and expertise of TAs. We invite you to use the attached padlet to begin sharing your reflections, experiences and expertise to support other TAs with their professional learning journey.
Department of Education (2019) ‘Deployment of teaching assistants in schools’ (online) ‘https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/812507/Deployment_of_teaching_assistants_report.pdf (accessed on 15.02.22)
Education Endowment Fund (EEF) (2021) ‘Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants: Guidance Report’ (online) https://d2tic4wvo1iusb.cloudfront.net/eef-guidance-reports/teaching-assistants/TA_Guidance_Report_MakingBestUseOfTeachingAssistants-Printable_2021-11-02-162019_wsqd.pdf?v=1666086797 (accessed on 15.02.22)
Hall, S. & Webster, R. (2022) ‘From Covid to the Cost of Living: The Crises Remaking the Role of the Teaching Assistants’ (online) https://pure.port.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/57436644/From_Covid_to_the_Cost_of_Living._The_crises_remaking_the_role_of_teaching_assistants_FINAL_.pdf (accessed on 15.02.22)