SNJ in Conversation: Teaching Assistants, their role and how schools can use them effectively

For children with special educational needs, a skilled teaching assistant can be the difference between them being able to progress in school or not.

They're vital for teachers supporting children with SEND in the classroom, whether or not the child has an Education, Health and Care plan. For those children lucky enough to have had continued support during lockdown, remotely or in class, we've seen the difference their continued support makes.

But often class teachers have had no training in deploying them to the best effect, and quality training for TAs can be hard to find. There's also no minimum standards for a teaching assistant, so there is little to measure skills or progress against.

For this new episode of SNJ in Conversation, I was joined by two experts in the use of teaching assistants. Assistant Professor Rob Webster of UCL's Institute of Education, and SNJ columnist, Bren Prendergast, who's a specialist teacher and trainer discuss research into TAs and what needs to happen to improve training

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TAs, their role and how schools can use them effectively

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Theme tune by Luca Tirraoro

Also read:

  • SEND Community Alliance Join us
  • Books SNJ recommends
  • Neurodiversity Celebration Week

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Tania Tirraoro

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