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Professional standards for teaching assistants

Professional standards for teaching assistants

Professional standards for teaching assistants were published in 2016 by a group made up of unions and educational experts. The standards help clarify the roles of teaching assistants and bring them into line with their teacher and headteacher colleagues, both of whom already have their own sets of standards. They are organised under four themes:

1) Personal and professional conduct

Teaching assistants should uphold public trust in the education profession by:

  • Having proper and professional regard for the ethos, policies and practices of the school in which they work as professional members of staff.
  • Demonstrating positive attitudes, values and behaviours to develop and sustain effective relationships with the school community.
  • Having regard for the need to safeguard pupils’ well-being by following relevant statutory guidance along with school policies and practice.
  • Upholding values consistent with those required from teachers by respecting individual differences and cultural diversity.
  • Committing to improve their own practice through self-evaluation and awareness.

2) Knowledge and understanding

Teaching assistants are expected to:

  • Share responsibility for ensuring that their own knowledge and understanding is relevant and up to date by reflecting on their own practice, liaising with school leaders, and identifying relevant professional development to improve personal effectiveness.
  • Take opportunities to acquire the appropriate skills, qualifications, and/or experience required for the teaching assistant role, with support from the school/employer.
  • Demonstrate expertise and skills in understanding the needs of all pupils (including specialist expertise as appropriate) and know how to contribute effectively to the adaptation and delivery of support to meet individual needs.
  • Demonstrate a level of subject and curriculum knowledge relevant to their role and apply this effectively in supporting teachers and pupils.
  • Understand their roles and responsibilities within the classroom and whole school context recognising that these may extend beyond a direct support role.

3) Teaching and learning

Teaching assistants are expected to:

  • Demonstrate an informed and efficient approach to teaching and learning by adopting relevant strategies to support the work of the teacher and increase achievement of all pupils including, where appropriate, those with special educational needs and disabilities.
  • Promote, support and facilitate inclusion by encouraging participation of all pupils in learning and extracurricular activities.
  • Use effective behaviour management strategies consistently in line with the school’s policy and procedures.
  • Contribute to effective assessment and planning by supporting the monitoring, recording and reporting of pupil performance and progress as appropriate to the level of the role.
  • Communicate effectively and sensitively with pupils to adapt to their needs and support their learning.
  • Maintain a stimulating and safe learning environment by organising and managing physical teaching space and resources.

4) Working with others

Teaching assistants are expected to:

  • Recognise and respect the role and contribution of other professionals, parents and carers by liaising effectively and working in partnership with them.
  • With the class teacher, keep other professionals accurately informed of performance and progress or concerns they may have about the pupils they work with.
  • Understand their responsibility to share knowledge to inform planning and decision making.
  • Understand their role in order to be able to work collaboratively with classroom teachers and other colleagues, including specialist advisory teachers.
  • Communicate their knowledge and understanding of pupils to other school staff and education, health and social care professionals, so that informed decision making can take place on intervention and provision.

Download the standards