Teaching assistants and pupils’ academic and social engagement in mainstream schools: insights from systematic literature reviews

Document Type



Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


This paper presents the findings of a series of systematic literature reviews about teaching assistants (TAs). The first two reviews focused on stakeholder perceptions of TAs’ contributions to academic and social engagement, namely the perceptions of pupils, teachers, TAs, head teachers and parents on four principal contributions that teaching assistants contribute to: pupils’ academic and socio-academic engagement; inclusion; maintenance of stakeholder relations; and support for the teacher. The third review explored training of TAs against a background of patchy training provision both in the UK and the USA, strong claims are made for the benefits to TAs of training provided, particularly in building confidence and skills. The conclusions include implications for further training and the need for further research to gain an in-depth understanding of the way TAs engage with children.

Publication (Name of Journal)

International Journal of Emotional Education