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

Teaching assistants

Gareth D Morewood

Recruiting teaching assistants: right person, right time

One of your teaching assistants is leaving: what do you need to think about when interviewing and recruiting new support staff? Gareth D Morewood explains. First things first, do I actually need to recruit a new TA? Firstly, I think it is important to look at your structure, students’ needs and...
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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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Gareth D Morewood

Top tips for effectively deploying teaching assistants

There has been a lot of recent debate about the role of teaching assistants on forums, Twitter and in the media. Here's what we know so far. The research and the lessons A report by Professor John Hattie highlights the fact that some of the worst examples of TA deployment are when TAs lead...
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Lizzie Gait

Maximising the value of your TAs

On the 16 th September, I was excited to attend our Optimising the Impact and Value of TAs conference – the first of its kind in over 3 years. The range of leading expert and experienced practitioner speakers promised an exciting day of good practice. The aim of the day was threefold: Clarify the...
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