How Teaching Assistants can have a Positive Impact on Learning

by | Jan 11, 2023 | Coaching, Leadership

How Teaching Assistants can have a Positive Impact on Learning

Teaching Assistants (TA) have a vital role to play in the classroom and their impact on learning cannot be underestimated as long as there is a well-defined strategy in place for how they are deployed to support teachers in their quest for the highest quality learning outcomes for every pupil. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) have published a piece of research into how the work of Teaching Assistants has a significant impact on pupil progression is profound.

The average impact of the deployment of teaching assistants is about an additional four months’ progress over the course of a year.

Education Endowment Foundation research into Teaching Assistant interventions

The research, however qualifies this powerful statistic by saying that it is how Teaching Assistants are deployed and the quality of both the relationship the teacher has with their TA, the skills the TA has in relation to supporting pupils to improve and the approach to the support that pupils are given over time. The research is clear throughout that it is small group intervention that reaps the benefits to pupils. Where TAs are simply an extra person in the classroom the impact is much less.

This research suggests that schools who rely on TAs as support for teachers and for the pupils who are struggling to keep up to look carefully at their overarching strategies for the deployment of TAs and what they should be looking for in relation to the impact on pupil progress that the TA has on their ability to catch up and progress.

The development of a strategy for the effective use of Teaching Assistants

  • Define the purpose for which TAs are employed within the school
  • Include subject, department and phase leads, teachers TAs and the SENCO in the development of a strategy linked to the desired outcomes for the deployment of TAs
  • Understand the essential nature of small group interaction and the key approaches that make a difference
  • Ensure that time is allocated for teachers and TAs to have time to work together to create a joint understanding of the nature and impact of planned intervention
  • Discuss and agree the fundamental role of the TA as one that supplements and does not replace the teacher
  • Ensure TAs have the relevant professional development to support them in delivering targeted interventions
  • Provide support and training for teachers and TAs to work together to focus on targeted intervention strategies and to agree on how to measure the impact and reflect on successes
  • Give TAs training as well as feedback and support in developing their knowledge of how to succeed with targeted support for small group intervention
Learning how to question, listen, challenge and build trusting relationship

Why our Coaching for Teaching Assistants course is so effective

Our course Coaching for Teaching Assistants and Support Staff can have a significant impact on building successful relationships between the teacher, the TA and the pupil through an opportunity to learn some coaching skills and principles; as well as a deep dive into effective teaching and learning strategies that favour intervention and small group work.

The research suggests that it is the small group intervention that has the most profound impact on progression for pupils who are falling behind or who have special needs.

Research which focuses on teaching assistants who provide one to one or small group targeted interventions shows a stronger positive benefit of between four and six additional months on average. 

Education Endowment Foundation research into Teaching Assistant interventions

How the course will enhance the role of the Teaching Assistant

  • Learn how professional dialogue and conversations between the teachers and the TA can help them to work together to share successes and find solutions
  • Look at some of the approaches to effective teaching that will support learning including some of the tools and techniques that can enhance professional learning for the TA
  • Learn how to use deep and rich questioning to foster challenge and build confidence
  • Become an active listener, in order to assess the needs of the teacher and to develop trusting relationships with pupils, parents and other stakeholders
  • Develop highly effective feedback techniques that focus on being positive and building the self-esteem of the pupil and others
  • Understand the role of the TA as one that is supporting progression, learning and building confidence
  • Build the skills that will support the TA to be able to work effectively in teams and groups and enhance pupils ability to work well in small group situations

Professional Development from Learning Cultures

This course is designed to provide a wealth of materials, resources and activities that will support the Teaching Assistant in their quest for continuing professional development that will enhance their role as a positive addition to the teacher and be highly influential in ensuring pupils they work with make significant progress. We know from our own and others extensive research that the CPD that makes a difference is where the recipient of training takes their learning back and has the resources to share their learning with others.

We want to make an impact on whole school improvement and know that the effective deployment of Teaching Assistants who have received highly interactive and deeply researched training have a significant impact on the outcome of the pupil, creating less stress and a lower workload for the teacher and building evidence that all pupils are accessing deep learning and progressing well.

Build potential and create powerful partnership working

To book a place you can go to our website from here ‘Coaching for Teaching Assistants and Support Staff’ or if you have a group of TAs you would like to have some training use our Contact us form or give us a call on 01746 765076 or directly to Glynis on 07974 754241 or email us and we will pass on your details.

New Books


The book ‘Primary Curriculum Design and Delivery by Glynis Frater‘ has now been published.

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