[Mr George Howarth in the Chair] — Teaching Assistants

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 18th March 2014.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Labour, Stockton North 9:30 am, 18th March 2014

That is most certainly the case. It does not matter whether it is maths, English or anything else. If children with a particular need can get that extra attention with a teaching assistant, the results can be positive.

The claims made in both newspaper articles that I mentioned were based on assertions from Reform, which in turn were highly selective in the evidence used. For example, although it is true that the teaching and learning toolkit produced by a collaboration of the Education Endowment Foundation and the Sutton Trust suggests that teaching assistants have a low impact for a high cost, it is important to note that the toolkit also specifies that this judgment is

“based on limited evidence”.

The implication, of course, is that the sentiment should not necessarily be taken at face value, or at least not without some fairly substantial caveats.