More worryingly, this was most noticeable among special educational needs SEN students, who traditionally attract the most TA time. Overall, the level of evidence related to teaching assistants is limited.
Though comparisons with qualified teachers suggest that teaching assistants tend not to be as effective in terms of raising attainment achieving, on average about half the gainsstudies suggest that benefits are possible across subjects and at both primary and secondary level. These include brief, regular and consistent sessions, TAs getting the right training, and supporting resources including lesson plans with clear objectives and outcomes.
Guidance report The EEF has published guidance on the effective use of teaching assistants. Classroom teachers reported more positive effects, saying that TAs helped to reduce stress, workload and disruption in class.
Photograph: Alamy The number of full-time teaching assistants TAs has more than trebled — from 79, to— since Correlational studies looking at the impact of TAs providing general classroom support have shown broadly similar effects.