Pencils at different heights

Do teaching assistants improve pupil outcomes in mainstream schools?

Research Reviews
Author: Vana Avgerinou


  1. Bosanquet, P, Radford, J. and Webster, R. (2016). A teaching assistant’s guide to effective interaction: How to maximise your impact. Oxon: Routledge.
  2. Cazden, C. (2001). Classroom discourse: The language of teaching and learning. Portsmouth: Heinemann.
  3. Farrell, P., Alborz, A. Howes, A. and Pearson, D. (2010). The impact of teaching assistants on improving pupils’ academic achievement in mainstream schools: a review of the literature. Educational Review, 62, 435-448.
  4. C. M. Finn, J.D. and Achilles, C.M. (1999). Tennessee's Class Size Study: Findings, Implications, Misconceptions. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 21, 97-109.
  5. Fraser, C. and Meadows, S. (2008). Children's views of Teaching Assistants in primary schools. Education 3-13, 36, 351-363.
  6. Gerber, S.B., Finn, J.D., Achilles, C.M. and Boyd-Zaharias, J. (2001). Teacher Aides and Students’ Academic Achievement. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 23, 123-143.
  7. Giangreco, M.F., Broer, S.M. and Edelman, S.W. (1999). The Tip of the Iceberg: Determining Whether Paraprofessional Support is Needed for Students with Disabilities in General Education Settings. Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 24, 281-291.
  8. Giangreco, M.F., Broer, S.M. and Edelman, S.W. (2001). Teacher Engagement with Students with Disabilities: Differences between Paraprofessional Service Delivery Models. Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 26, 75-86.
  9. Miller, S. D. (2003). Partners-in-Reading: Using Classroom Assistants to Provide Tutorial Assistance to Struggling First-Grade Readers. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR), 8, 333-349.
  10. Mosteller, F. (1997). The Tennessee Study of Class Size in the Early School Grades.
  11. Muijs, D. & Reynolds, D. (2003). The effectiveness of the use of learning support assistants in improving the mathematics achievement of low achieving pupils in primary school. Educational Research, 45, 219-230.
  12. Radford, J., Blatchford, P. & Webster, R. (2011). Opening up and closing down: How teachers and TAs manage turn-taking, topic and repair in mathematics lessons. Learning and Instruction, 21, 625-635.
  13. Radford, J., Bosanquet, P., Webster, R. & Blatchford, P. (2015). Scaffolding learning for independence: Clarifying teacher and teaching assistant roles for children with special educational needs. Learning and Instruction, 36, 1-10.
  14. Savage, R. & Carless, S. (2005). Learning support assistants can deliver effective reading interventions for ‘at-risk’ children. Educational Research, 47, 45-61.
  15. Savage, R. & Carless, S. (2008). The impact of early reading interventions delivered by classroom assistants on attainment at the end of Year 2. British Educational Research Journal, 34, 363-385.
  16. Savage, R. & Carless, S. & Stuart, M. (2003). The effects of rime‐ and phoneme‐based teaching delivered by Learning Support Assistants. Journal of Research in Reading, 26, 211-233.
  17. Sharples, J., Webster, R. & Blatchford, P. (2015). Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants: Guidance Report. Education Endowment Foundation. London.
  18. Webster, R. & Blatchford, P. (2013). The educational experiences of pupils with a Statement for special educational needs in mainstream primary schools: results from a systematic observation study. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 28, 463-479.
  19. Webster, R. & Blatchford, P. (2015). Worlds apart? The nature and quality of the educational experiences of pupils with a statement for special educational needs in mainstream primary schools. British Educational Research Journal, 41, 324-342.
  20. Webster, R., Blatchford, P. & Russell, A. (2013). Challenging and changing how schools use teaching assistants: findings from the Effective Deployment of Teaching Assistants project. School Leadership & Management, 33, 78-96.
  21. Wilson, V., Schlapp, U. & Davidson, J. (2003). An ‘Extra Pair of Hands’?:Managing Classroom Assistants in Scottish Primary Schools. Educational Management & Administration, 31, 189-205.
  22. Woolfson, R.C. & Truswell, E. (2005). Do classroom assistants work? Educational Research, 47, 63-75.