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Absolute Return for Kids (ARK),
All Roads DSO,
Barnfield FE College,
Bovis Lend Lease,
British Edutrust Foundation,
Central Manchester University,
Church of England,
Corporation of London,
Coventry City College,
Coventry City Council,
Crown Products (Kent) Ltd.,
David and Anne Grassland,
Duke of Northumberland,
Emmanuel Schools Foundation,
Haberdashers Livery Company,
Kent County Council,
Liverpool Hope University,
Lord Harris of Peckham,
Manchester Childrens University Hosp NHS Trust,
Manchester City Council,
New Charter Housing Trust,
New Line Learning,
Oasis Community Learning,
Oxford Brookes University,
Prospect Education (Technology) Trust Ltd.,
RC Archdiocese of Liverpool,
Rodney Aldridge Charitable Trust,
Roger de Haan,
Sheffield Hallam University,
Steiner School Fellowship,
Sunderland County Council,
Sunderland Housing Group,
The Co-operative Group,
The Skinners Company,
University College London,
University of Central England
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Nottingham,
University of the West of England
University of Wolverhampton
Willow Park Housing Trust,
Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what change there has been in the number of teaching assistants in England since 1996-97; what assessment he has made of the effects of that change on levels of pupil attainment; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: In January 2007, there were approximately 162,900 (full-time equivalent) teaching assistants in schools in England. This is an increase of 102,300 since 1997, more than doubling the number of teaching assistants.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families, in conjunction with the Welsh Assembly Government, have commissioned a five-year research study (2004-09) to provide a detailed analysis of the impact of support staff on teaching and learning, in addition to comprehensive and reliable information on the types, characteristics and deployment of support staff (including teaching assistants) in schools in England and Wales. Early findings published in 2006 (Blatchford et al, DfES Research Report 776) suggested that many teachers felt support staff were having a positive effect on pupil learning and behaviour. Teachers also felt that support staff benefited their teaching in a number of ways, for example, by allowing them to differentiate the work for more pupils. Subsequent publications will report in more detail on the role of support staff in teaching and learning and provide a systematic analysis of the effect of support staff on pupil outcomes, including attainment.
In virtually every year group and at every level of free school meal eligibility, the quality of teaching in lessons with teaching assistants is better than in those without.
In departments that had dedicated support staff, both teachers and departmental heads were significantly more satisfied with the amount and quality of in-class support and administrative support they received. There was evidence that being based in one department was also of benefit to the support staff themselves, both in terms of their overall satisfaction and access to professional development.
In January 2003, the National Agreement, Raising Standards, Tackling Workload was signed by the Government, employers, and the majority of the school work force unions. The agreement set out the shared vision for the school work force of the future and featured a series of phased reforms to help schools raise standards of achievement of all their pupils and tackle work load issues. It is vital that schools make the most effective use of teachers time, ensuring that they spend their time only on activities that really need the professional skills and judgment of a teacher. The increased use of teaching assistants (and other support
staff) in schools, providing high quality support in the classroom and by taking on a number of administrative tasks previously carried out by teachers, has therefore been integral to the Governments drive to raise standards for pupils and tackle teacher work load.
Jim Knight: The following tables provide the number of full-time equivalent teaching assistants employed in local authority maintained schools in England by Government Office region and local authority, January 2006.
|Full-time equivalent( 1) teaching assistants in local authority maintained schools: by Government Office region and local authority area in England, January 2006|
|Teaching a ssistants( 2)|
|(1) Includes both full-time and the full-time equivalent of part-time support staff.|
(2) Includes nursery nurses, nursery assistants, literacy and numeracy support staff and any non-teaching staff regularly employed to support in the classroom expect from special needs and minority ethnic pupils support staff.
(3) Nil or negligible.
Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
Source: School Census
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