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'Significant' reading progress made thanks to teaching assistants

06/03/2009 Kelly
A number of pupils in the north-west of England have teaching assistants to thank for their improved reading and writing skills.

The Read to Succeed initiative, backed by the North West Regional Development Agency (NWRD), has significantly helped boost the achievement of primary school children.

Of 218 that have been given one-to-one reading and writing support during school hours from teaching assistants, 216 have been reported as having made "quantifiable process" after just ten weeks.

Commenting on these results, development co-coordinator with the skills team at NWRA Pam Baird stated: "It demonstrates the effectiveness of this relatively inexpensive intervention and will convince the local education authorities and policy makers what this type of support can achieve."

The recruitment of 30 part-time teaching assistants helped support the scheme, which is scheduled to last three years and is expected to help a total of 2,600 primary children.

Teaching assistant apprenticeships could soon be available for school leavers, if suggestions made by schools secretary Ed Balls recently are put into practice.
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