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TES talks to… Rob Webster

The researcher and former teaching assistant explains to Jessica Powell how schools can maximise the potential of their TA workforce

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The results were a shock for everyone,” remembers Rob Webster. “My wife is a teacher. She kept a low profile in the staffroom on the day it came out because it was all over the radio.”

Webster is referring to the results of the Deployment and Impact of Support Staff (DISS) project – a five-year study in schools in England and Wales. The report was published in 2009 and is probably well-remembered by anyone teaching then. Webster and his colleagues found a negative relationship between the amount of support that pupils received from teaching assistants (TAs) and the progress they made in ...

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