Press release

Review of standards for teaching assistants launched

Status and professionalism of teaching assistants to be enshrined in a new set of standards established by an independent review.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

children and teaching assistant stretching on the floor

The review will aim to replace the current set of standards with a clearer and more concise version which reflects the diversity of the existing schools system.

The review panel will aim to draw up standards which:

  • are unequivocal, clear and easy to understand
  • can be used to assess the performance of teaching assistants
  • steer the professional development of teaching assistants at all levels
  • are designed to inspire confidence in teaching assistants and ensure that schools use their skills and expertise to best effect
  • focus primarily on the key elements of their professional relationship with teachers to ensure that all pupils attain the highest possible standards

Kate Dethridge, Principal of Churchend Primary Academy, Reading, has been appointed to chair the review. She will be supported by a panel of experts with a diverse range of expertise.

Mrs Dethridge is a serving member of the Department for Education’s Bureaucracy Reference Group, and a national leader of education.

Schools Minister David Laws said:

Good teaching assistants are essential to driving up standards in the classroom and helping students fulfil their full potential.

Kate Dethridge and the expert panel supporting her will bring a wealth of experience to this review, which will help to ensure the continuing improvement of school standards under this government.

Kate Dethridge added:

I welcome this opportunity to work with colleagues to write a set of standards to raise the status and professionalism of teaching assistants across our schools. We hope to ensure that the development of these standards will make a significant contribution to a self-improving, school-led system.

The review is expected to report back to the Secretary of State for Education in spring 2015.

Notes to editors

The members of the review panel are:

  • Amanda Whittingham, assistant headteacher at Wensley Fold Church of England Primary Academy
  • Kathryn Booth, teaching assistant at Downlands Community Primary School
  • Susan Coates, teacher at Shield Row Primary School
  • Kath Robinson, higher-level teaching assistant at Woodthorpe Community Primary School
  • Jeanette Rigby, head of inclusion at Hawkley Hall High School, Wigan
  • Karen Jackson, higher-level teaching assistant at Thomas Hepburn Community Academy
  • Daniel Macafee, higher-level teaching assistant at St Patrick’s Roman Catholic High School
  • Dr Penny Barratt, headteacher of The Bridge School
  • Simon Knight, deputy headteacher at Frank Wise School
  • Susie Bailey, teacher at Lakeside School
  • Marc Rowland, deputy director of the National Education Trust

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Published 3 October 2014