Schools spend £4bn a year, or 10% of the annual education budget on 24,000 teaching assistants. Previous studies brought their effectiveness on learning into question, but new evidence suggests they are indeed worth every penny.
Evaluation of two studies carried out by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) indicates that using TAs to deliver sessions to small groups or individual children has a positive impact on their learning.
- 30-week programme at 34 schools and nurseries improved the vocabulary, grammar and listening skills of four and five-year olds by up to four months
- Targeted reading support for struggling readers in year 7 and 8, including one-to-one tuition, increased their progress by four months, and those with greater emphasis on language comprehension, by six months.