The important role that teaching assistants play and immense value they add to classrooms across the country should be better recognised, according to Alex Cunningham, and more than 50 MPs agree.
The Labour MP for Stockton North, who also sits on the Education Select Committee in Westminster, tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament as a sign of his support for a day of celebration for teaching assistants that took place on 29 November 2013.
There are in excess of 350,000 teaching assistants employed in England who fulfil wide and varied roles, ranging from supporting teachers with administrative tasks delivering English classes for speakers of other languages, as well as providing targeted intervention programmes. It is through these functions that teaching assistants are able to make a real difference in ensuring schools are able to provide high quality education and support for young people.
“The role that teaching assistants play in delivering high quality education to our children and young people is, all too often, under-appreciated or forgotten altogether. It is important that we take action to address this and to recognise their centrality in creating a productive learning environment, assisting pupils in a wide variety of tasks and exercises while often working to provide support for some of the most challenging pupils.
“A recent survey has revealed that 95 per cent of school leaders believe that teaching assistants add real value to their schools, and I was pleased to table Early Day Motion 753 in support of the day of recognition to celebrate this importance and delighted that 51 colleagues have already signed it. While Conservative Party Members have neglected to add their names in support of the Motion, this should not detract from the multitude of crucial roles that teaching assistants play. Without them, our schools would find it much harder to operate effectively and educational standards would suffer as a result.”