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Verdict on assistants

It is too early to say whether classroom assistants have made significant differences to teaching and learning and the atmosphere in classes, a Scottish Council for Research in Education preliminary study concludes.

Some authorities report benefits but others say there is insufficient evidence. There appear to be few major problems in emloying assistants, although there are issues about managing larger numbers when the scheme is implemented fully.

Issues for the future are establishing assistants' priorities; modifying their terms, conditions and training; and investigating pupils' perceptions of them. The two-year study was funded by the Scottish Executive.

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