CPD Toolkit | Teaching assistants: optimising impact

Teaching assistants: optimising impact


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Are your teaching assistants (TAs) making a significant impact on pupil progress? This course facilitates whole-school action planning to ensure that TAs have a strong, positive impact on learning. The sessions unpick cutting-edge research surrounding the deployment, preparedness and practice of TAs and enable participants to explore the practical implications for their school.


The ideas presented will benefit from whole-school support, as such it is suggested that all staff should be invited to the sessions – from teaching assistants and teachers to middle and senior leaders. 

Course outline

Authors: This course was developed in partnership with Louise Burnham. Louise has over 20 years’ experience as a primary and early years teacher. She has also designed and delivered a teaching assistants training programme for Lewisham College. 

Session 1 - Exploring evidence and research (90 minutes)


  • Explore research on the deployment, preparation and practice of TAs
  • Begin to develop a plan of action for improving the effectiveness of TAs in your school
Session 2 - Preparedness and effective partnerships (90 minutes)

  • Engage with research on the impact of TAs in the classroom and use this knowledge to embed best practice
  • Think about the current overlapping nature of the teacher/TA roles in some schools
  • Explore what ‘preparedness’ means in relation to whole-class cover, supporting pupils with SEN and delivering intervention sessions
Session 3 - Drawing on research to improve classroom practice (110 minutes)

  • Explore what research says about effective TA practice
  • Develop classroom talk and independent learning
  • Identify areas for further professional development


Courses include:
  • Facilitator notes providing step-by-step guidance with discussion prompts, activity instructions and links to further reading
  • A facilitator log including a checklist to support session planning and evaluation, and to help you identify next steps 
  • A diagnostic audit to assess participants’ prior knowledge so that you can tailor the content and target areas for improvement
  • Presentation slides outlining key concepts and guidance
  • Videos to support activities and to explain complex ideas
  • A learning log enabling participants to reflect upon their learning against the course objectives
  • A feedback form enabling participants to evaluate the subject content and activities in the session
  • A certificate to certify participation in the training course

How it works

  1. Download high-quality materials created in partnership with subject specialists, and quality assured for your peace of mind
  2. Adapt the resources to meet the needs of your school and staff
  3. Deliver engaging training with confidence, with the support of comprehensive facilitator guidance 
  4. Evaluate the impact of your training to identify areas where staff need further support