There are around 295,000 teaching assistants (TAs) working in schools across the UK. The number of TAs has trebled since the year 2000. Today, teaching assistants play a crucial role in supporting students and teachers. In 2022, TAs accounted for over a quarter (28%) of the school workforce in mainstream schools in England and Wales are often found in schools with high levels of disadvantage.
Daily, TAs dedicate themselves to supporting teachers and enriching education through collaboration and guidance. To mark the great work that teaching assistants do in schools, National Teaching Assistants Day takes place on September 29th 2023.
To celebrate the work of TAs and the difference they make, schools can nominate a teaching assistant who goes above and beyond for pupils, for the National Teaching Assistant of the Year award. This year, there is also a new category for Higher Level Teaching Assistants, who have additional responsibilities and training.
Schools might consider nominating a TA who has:
- championed diversity and inclusion
- gone beyond their responsibilities to support students
- changed a particular student(s) life.
TAs making a difference in education
Research by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) shows that teaching assistants can have a large positive impact on learner outcomes when they are deployed effectively.
TAs have long been linked with improved results and attainment, demonstrating how important the role is for both students and teachers.
TAs supporting teachers
TAs have positive effects on teachers by supporting their overall workload and reducing stress. Statistics show that 96% of headteachers believe TAs add value to their schools. And their work was particularly prominent during the COVID-19 pandemic, where TAs played an invaluable role, supporting schools by covering absences, supporting pupils of key workers when schools were partially open, forming bridges between parents and schools, and following up on home learners.
TAs supporting pupils
Teaching assistants provide support by helping to oversee the class. They assist students who have questions, need encouragement, or need help with assigned tasks. Schools may also deploy TAs in other supervisory roles, such as after-school clubs, lunchtime supervision, and lesson cover.
Teaching assistants with extra training also support pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN). As these needs can be complex and challenging, schools look for specialist support teaching assistants to help SEN pupils take full advantage of their education. Findings show that almost half (44%) of parents of autistic children want more teaching assistants in UK schools.
Let’s celebrate National Teaching Assistants Day
At Teaching Personnel, we will be observing National Teaching Assistants Day. Their hard work and dedication deserve recognition! Every day, we recognise the vital role TAs play in supporting students and teachers. Teaching assistants make classrooms work, and we believe that our TAs are superheroes in the classroom!
Interested in working as a teaching assistant?
Working as a TA is an enjoyable and rewarding career. You’ll work closely with students to tackle challenging tasks and overcome obstacles. As one of the UK’s leading educational recruitment agencies, we help hundreds of teaching assistants every year put their skills into practice in primary schools, secondary schools, special schools, or as part of the National Tutoring Programme. Teaching Personnel also supports people who want to become TAs with little or no experience. Browse our latest TA job opportunities or register with us.