Where have all the teaching assistants gone?Date: 22.07.2019
In this DfE study, many respondents highlighted that their schools has already rationalised their TA numbers and voiced concerns about having to cut them any further. As a consequence, a large number of schools are reporting that resource for pupils with SEND, including that provided for pupils under a statutory EHC plan (some via a stated number of hours), is being shared across pupils. This was particularly the case in secondary schools.
Total school funding (reported by schools to have reduced and as being insufficient to cover the required costs of their statutory obligations in EHC plans) is seen as a key barrier negatively impacting on the effective deployment of TAs, according to schools.
This is because in most cases there isn’t enough to:
- Provide sufficient training - especially in whole school training and CPD.
- Allow TAs to adequately plan and prepare for lessons.
- Recompense TAs for the work they undertake and responsibilities they take on.
- Effectively cover the needs of increasing proportions of pupils with SEND in the school - which schools report can mean deploying TAs in ways they know may not be the most effective.