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TA or not TA, that is the Question!
It’s not only Hamlet who’s facing a dilemma! Recent research has called into question the benefits of spending the Pupil Premium/Pupil Deprivation Grant on Teaching Assistants. On some measures, Teaching Assistants can appear to have very little impact for a high cost. (‘A Toolkit of Strategies to improve learning’, Higgins, 2013.)
In contrast, Greg Brooks’ evaluation of literacy interventions (“What works for pupils with literacy difficulties”, 2013) found that for Y3 pupils using Catch Up® Literacy, the improvement in reading accuracy was ‘remarkable’ and for pupils in Y2 – Y9, improvement in comprehension was ‘useful to substantial’. Importantly, 95% of those learners making such excellent progress were supported by Teaching Assistants.
So who’s right?
Well, Catch Up® has found that in order to achieve maximum benefit from TAs delivering interventions, some key requirements must be met:
Catch Up® is the working name of The Caxton Trust, a not-for-profit charity registered in England and Wales (1072425) and Scotland (SC047557) as well as a company limited by guarantee (03476510). Catch Up is a registered trademark.