Rethinking the use of teacher aides

Rob Webster, Peter Blatchford

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter discusses the research findings on the impact of teacher aides/assistants (TAs) in inclusive classrooms. It explores the evidence on the deployment, practice and preparation of teachers and TAs, and explains why, on the basis of our extensive collaborative and developmental work with schools, a reconceptualisation of the TA role around promoting student independence offers a potentially transformative and impactful alternative model to TA utilisation. In contrast to in-class support, the evidence on the role of TAs in delivering structured interventions in one-to-one or small-group settings shows a much stronger, positive impact on student attainment. The essence of effective TA deployment is to ensure that TAs supplement, and do not replace, the teacher. This is essential in the case of students with disability, as a key conclusion arising from the evidence is that TAs are often used as an informal teaching resource for students with the most complex learning profiles.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInclusive Education for the 21st Century
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, Policy and Practice
EditorsLinda Graham
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781003116073
ISBN (Print)9780367718435, 9781760527099
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2019


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