What is expected of teaching assistants when supporting a child on a 1:1 basis?


Teaching assistants require a great deal of patience, but it’s an incredibly rewarding role where individuals can see success happening in front of them.

This is especially the case when a teaching assistant is providing one-to-one support to pupils, as they will deliver tailored assistance to help them reach their potential.

Some roles also provide support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), although qualifications and prior experience are often required.

Teaching assistants in these roles may support pupils from a diverse range of backgrounds and with a range of learning and behavioural difficulties.

The role of 1:1 support

Delivering 1:1 support is designed to ensure that a pupil’s needs are met, providing them with the necessary tools to concentrate and complete tasks assigned to them.

From listening to pupils and guiding them where appropriate, to giving feedback on their progress to parents and school staff, teaching assistants who provide specialist support have many responsibilities.

They are also committed to safeguarding and protecting a pupil’s wellbeing while ensuring that any particular care needs are met.

A teaching assistant should look to develop a supportive and secure relationship with the child that is built on respect, inclusivity and which promotes self-esteem.

Specialist assistance

In certain instances, pupils may also have specific intervention programmes and needs, which will differ from child to child – a teaching assistant will have a key role in ensuring these programmes are delivered effectively.

As specialist teaching assistants have a good understanding of the pupil’s needs, they can also play a pivotal role in developing learning activities, tasks and resources that can most benefit their needs.

On the back of this, they are well-placed to guide the child on how best to use the materials to target specific learning outcomes.

Confidence in one’s ability to provide effective support is essential, and several courses and qualifications are available for those who want to enhance their skills.

It is generally expected that all work will be carried out in line with the particular ethos of an individual school and that a teaching assistant will stay up-to-date with educational policy developments and other factors which may influence their role.

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