Professional standards for TAs

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Rights and conditions
13 December 2016
Following the government's decision not to endorse them, ATL has decided to publish the new professional standards for teaching assistants created by members of ATL and other unions and education bodies.

ATL is urging all reps in maintained and academy schools to request that their school adopt the terms of the TA standards, and to publicise them within the school and on the school website. We are also asking ATL branches to promote the standards at local authority, MAT and individual academy, and school level, by asking the relevant bodies to adopt the standards and to publicise them as widely as possible.

You can view or download the standards, below. Please contact Peter Morris for more information or to keep us informed when your LA, school or other institution adopts the standards.

Professional standards for teaching assistants


In October 2014, the Department for Education (DfE) set up an independent panel to draw up new standards, which included ATL members: Kathryn Booth, a teaching assistant and member of ATL's Support Staff Members Advisory Group, and Susan Coates, a Year 1 teacher and ATL Executive member. ATL also made a written submission to the panel.

At the time, the DfE expressed a need for professional TA standards to complement those for teachers, saying "it is timely to establish new standards for all TAs in schools that reflect the diversity of the existing schools landscape and encompass wide-ranging responsibilities in a self-improving system".

However, when the standards were completed, the secretary of state for education decided not to publish them, arguing that schools were "best placed to decide how they use and deploy TAs, and to set standards for the TAs they employ."

ATL is extremely disappointed with this decision and the underhand way in which it was announced in a written response to a Parliamentary question from an opposition education spokesperson. There was no consultation or communication with members of the panel.

Following this decision, members at ATL's Annual Conference in April 2016 passed a motion urging the Executive Committee to "ensure that every member is aware of and has access to a copy of the Professional Standards for Teaching Assistants", and to "promote the standards to our members."

See also