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Reducing School Exclusions: Schools Week highlights our recommendations

Our recent submission to Parliament’s Education Select Committee’s enquiry on school exclusions was highlighted in Schools Week. Vulnerable pupils can be difficult to support in mainstream schools and too often schools feel they have little alternative but to exclude them, particularly at times when waiting lists for mental health referrals can stretch to 18 months. …

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#012 – Rob Webster: Teaching assistants and inclusive education

Rob Webster is a researcher at the UCL Institute of Education, where he leads the Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants (MITA) initiative for the UCL Centre for Inclusive Education. Rob is also Co-Director of the SEN in Secondary Education (SENSE) study. In this episode, Rob talks to Iesha about the role of teaching assistants, how they can be used more effectively, the contribution they make to SEND provision and how they could help solve the teacher recruitment crisis.

In this episode Iesha and Rob discuss:
• SEN or SEND?
• How Rob’s frontline work as a teaching assistant led to him conducting research into the role of TAs
• How TAs might be the solution to the teacher workforce crisis
• The central role that TAs play in SEND provision
• Segregation and streaming of SEND pupils
• ‘Ability’ vs. ‘prior attainment’
• Whether it’s right that SEND pupils spend more time with TAs than their peers
• Why pupils don’t benefit from spending lots of unstructured time with TAs, but…
• …how TAs have a consistently positive impact when they’re delivering targeted interventions
• Given negative evidence, why schools have been happier to scrap TAs than scrap ability grouping
• What schools can do to make better use of TAs
• What we mean by ‘inclusion’
• Shed Seven

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