The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Support staff

Julie Kennelly

Working together to maximise the impact of TAs

Schools can learn as much from each other as from anything else, as Priestnall School has found when discussing the best use of teaching assistants. This year, Priestnall School has taken part in the Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants (MITA) project . As part of this, we had the...
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John Viner

Midday meals supervisor: the school's superhero

While every school might have different expectations of the midday meals team, such expectations are invariably high. John Viner makes the case for recognising their valuable input. In the grand scheme of things, a school’s midday meals supervisor (MMS) is often its unsung hero. Yet the fact that,...
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Charlie Roden

Days like this: how I became a teaching assistant

Bottle caps can be wheelchair lifts, and students can be tougher interviewers than staff: just some of the things I learned when applying to become a TA. I have been interviewed many times over the years – when applying to the role of support worker, bartender, retail assistant and even university...
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Julie Kennelly

Improving in-class support across the board

Prioritising the time and attention of support staff is a daily challenge in many schools. Here's one simple but effective technique for coordinating cover. We are all too aware of the financial and systemic barriers to provision for SEND that is appropriately resourced and well allocated. As a new...
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Alex Masters

Supporting your support staff with positive appraisals

The word ‘appraisal’ often conjures images of clipboards and awkward conversations. Alex Masters explores how this process can bring out the best in your teams. It’s the time of year for appraisals and, as part of their role, many SBMs carry these out for their school’s support staff. Indeed, these...
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Alex Masters

Support staff: training, appraisals and restructures

Training and appraising support staff, and (often-dreaded) restructures, shouldn't be a challenge. We have a range of expert advice to guide you through each process. Summary Support staff are becoming increasingly influential . Evaluate your CPD policy for potential improvement. Consider creating...
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