Peter Blatchford's 2009 research, which found that TAs had a negative effect on student achievement, came at a time when insufficiently trained TAs were being inappropriately deployed. The Education Endowment Foundation's recent report shows that times are changing and value is being added to the role.
Yet it is not TAs' status that makes the difference, it is one-to-one tuition by trained staff. The cause of improving disadvantaged children's achievement would be furthered immeasurably if pressure were focused on enabling high-quality one-to-one tuition for all students who need it.
John Bangs, Former head of education, NUT; visiting professor, Institute of Education, University of London.