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Assistance for assistants

We have always known that, with their role and purpose clearly defined, and with the appropriate ongoing training and support, teaching assistants (TAs) can improve literacy and numeracy skills ("Teaching assistants do make a difference", 7 February). The conclusion to be drawn from this latest report is that the value of TAs is clear, especially when budgets are tight.

Training and support should be made available so that school leaders and teachers know how best to use TAs for maximum impact in the classroom - supporting student learning and achievement while freeing teachers to teach. Voice values its TA members and will continue to support them and their role.

Deborah Lawson, General secretary of Voice, the union for education professionals.

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