UNISON has criticised today’s leaked government briefing that details concern about “the rising number of teaching assistants”.
Contrary to the government’s reports of an increase, secondary schools have seen the number of teaching assistants (TAs) cut by 12% since 2013.
UNISON represents more than 150,000 teaching assistants in the UK, and argues that they play a vital role in boosting quality and standards.
National education officer Joanna Parry said: “TAs play a hugely important role in our school communities, supporting teaching and learning, boosting pupil attainment and giving specialist assistance to the most vulnerable children.
“The government’s reported concerns around TA numbers are an insult to teaching assistants who are stretched to the limit due to funding cuts, yet still making a positive difference to pupils.
“UNISON will be campaigning to defend TAs against these shocking government threats.”
The union has long argued that the vital role teaching assistants play in boosting quality and standards should be backed up by greater investment in the workforce.