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3 Reasons Why Teaching Assistants Are In Such High Demand

3 Reasons Why Teaching Assistants Are In Such High Demand

Date posted : 26 July 2022

England’s schools are facing a shortage of teaching assistants. A large survey published earlier in 2022 found that, out of all types of educational professionals, classroom support staff have been the hardest to recruit in the last year, with 45% of employers reporting problems finding TAs.

That schools are encountering such acute problems, even while the number of TAs working in schools has trebled over the last two decades, should illustrate just how integral learning support workers have become to keeping schools running effectively.

On 16 September, we’re once again honouring the enormous contributions that TAs make to school life for National Teaching Assistants’ Day. We’re inviting schools and TAs across the country to join in the fun with us too.

But first, let’s remind ourselves of just why teaching assistants are so sought after. 

1. They help pupils learn how to learn

TAs work closely with pupils, individually and in small groups, to help them properly understand the material the classroom teacher has covered.

This work complements the teachers’ efforts and helps ensure that all pupils are given the best opportunity to really get to grips with the curriculum. The most meaningful and lasting way TAs make a difference here is by equipping children with the skills to conduct their own learning.  

A survey of TAs conducted by our partner company, Best Practice Network, found that 89% agreed that their work helped pupils develop independent study skills and manage their own learning. This learned behaviour will keep creating value for those pupils over the rest of their lives.  

2. They go above and beyond for pupils

When we read over our submissions last year for National Teaching Assistants’ Day, four words kept popping up over and over again: ‘going the extra mile’. Schools’ favourite TAs consistently distinguished themselves by their dedication and willingness to give their all for the sake of their pupils.

Headteachers praised TAs for giving up evenings, weekends and even holiday time to support pupils, whether through running after-school clubs or giving pupils snacks out of their own pockets.

The best teaching assistants show a ‘superhuman’ commitment to their pupils that deserves acknowledgement.

3. They make learning more inclusive

Teaching assistants play a particularly important role in maximizing equal access to education. The role of TAs in effective support provision for children with special educational needs is enshrined in the government’s official SEND Code of Practice.

In a busy classroom, not all children will learn at the same pace. For children with SEND, the extra attention provided by a TA can make the difference between understanding and abandoning crucial course content.

TAs are involved in formulating and executing children’s support plans and providing crucial feedback on individual pupils’ progress to the class teacher.

Specialist SEN teaching assistants will be more familiar than most staff with best practices for helping pupils with complex conditions get the most out of their education. Training in specific behaviour management techniques like Team Teach can make all the difference in dealing with challenging behaviour and defusing tricky classroom situations.

Get ready for NTAD 2022

All of us at Teaching Personnel couldn’t be more excited for our annual celebration of teaching assistants. We want schools to join us too.

To find out all the ways you can join in the fun, head to the official National Teaching Assistants’ Day 2022 website now.


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