Maximising the impact of teaching assistants: Lessons from the UK

Deans lecture series 2016

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About the lecture

Over the last 15 years, teaching assistants/aides have become a central part of United Kingdom schools, and now comprise a quarter of the schooling workforce. Assistants often provide one-on-one and small group support for low attaining pupils and those with special educational needs. However, results from the large-scale five-year Deployment and Impact of Support Staff project directed by Professor Blatchford, showed that pupils who received the most teaching assistant support consistently made less progress than similar pupils who received less support.

Professor Blatchford will detail the project's results, which will have had a big impact on the deployment of teaching assistants in the United Kingdom and shown the need to fundamentally rethink their role and maximise their impact. He will raise clear implications for policies of inclusion for school leaders, and issues about the role of classroom talk in scaffolding learning.

About the speaker

Peter Blatchford

Professor Peter Blatchford

UCL Institute of Education

Honorary Professor
Hong Kong Institute of Education

A Professor in Psychology and Education at University College London, Peter Blatchford directed the large scale five year Deployment and Impact of Support Staff research project, which was funded by the English and Welsh governments. He has also directed a number of large-scale publicly funded projects, most notably on the educational effects of class size differences and pupil adult ratios, and collaborative group work. Professor Blatchford’s research has led to a number of publications including The Child at School: Interactions with Teachers and Pupils and Reassessing the Impact of Teaching Assistants books.