Every Child Counts helps schools to make the best use of their teaching assistants

Most ECC interventions are designed so that a teaching assistant or teacher can deliver them to pupils. In practice, it is usually a teaching assistant (TA). This helps schools in two ways.

1. A structured ECC intervention enables TAs to raise pupils’ attainment.

The Education Endowment Foundation’s Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants report stated that, while the typical deployment of TAs in schools often has little impact on pupil attainment, “the area of research showing the strongest evidence for TAs having a positive impact on pupil attainment focuses on their role in delivering structured interventions in one-to-one or small group settings.”

ECC meets all of the EEF’s criteria for an effective intervention, including:

EEF CriterionA Typical ECC Intervention
Sessions are often brief (20-50mins) occur regularly (35 times per week) and are maintained over a sustained period (8-20 weeks). Pupils have 3 or 4 30minute sessions a week for 10 weeks.
TAs receive extensive training from experienced trainers and/or teachers (5-3 hours per intervention).The TA attends 6 half-days of training, delivered by an expert trainer accredited by Edge Hill University.
The intervention has structured supporting resources and lesson plans, with clear objectives and possibly a delivery script.Lesson plans are clearly structured and semi-scripted. They are accompanied by extensive teaching resources.
Assessments are used to identify appropriate pupils, guide areas for focus and track pupil progress.Preliminary assessments help the TA to tailor the intervention to pupils’ needs. An online data system tracks their progress.
Connections are made between the out-of-class learning in the intervention and classroom teaching.A link teacher managers liaison between the TA and class teachers to ensure that two-way links support pupils’ learning

1stClass@Number is the best programme we have ever had for teaching assistants. It was not only effective but children gained an enthusiasm for their maths work.

Nikki de Palma, Deputy Head Teacher, Redlands Primary School, Tower Hamlets

2. The high quality of ECC training helps TAs to become more effective in their wider roles.

The training focuses on subject knowledge that help TAs to understand the difficulties that many children experience with literacy or mathematics and how to overcome them, and they give guidance on generic teaching strategies. It includes extensive discussion of TAs’ own experiences, helping them to develop independent problem-solving skills for the benefit of their pupils.

All of these elements enable TAs to become more knowledgeable, skilful and confident at supporting pupils’ learning throughout their work at school, not just during the interventions.