Teaching assistants are ‘vital to schools’, say headteachers

A new survey by UNISON, the UK’s largest union, reveals that the vast majority of head teachers and school leaders believe that their school could not run without the hard work of teaching assistants (TAs).

The in-depth survey reveals that 95% of heads and school leaders believe TAs add significant value to the team around children, including to those with special educational needs.

The survey also outlines best practice, and reports that TAs could play an even greater role in improving quality given better supervision and deployment.

The school leaders are overwhelmingly supportive of the work that TAs do in a mix of pastoral, teaching and administrative roles, leading some to call for TAs to get better training, pay and employment conditions.

Jon Richards, UNISON’s National Secretary for Education, said:

”The findings of our survey are a testament to the huge role that teaching assistants play in delivering high quality education to our children in schools today.

“To make sure they can play an even greater role in boosting quality and standards, we want a national framework to regulate how they are deployed, as well as their pay and conditions.

“Realising the potential of children and young people in our schools is inextricably linked to realising the potential of the TA workforce.”