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Classroom Assistants

Volume 268: debated on Tuesday 12 December 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if she will make a statement on the function of classroom assistants; what is her policy on the extent to which they are expected to engage in formal class teaching; and what guidance her Department issues regarding their engagement and use. [5351]

Decisions on the engagement and deployment of classroom assistants are for headteachers and governors in consultation with the teaching staff whose work is to be supported. The Department is currently funding a pilot programme of training for specialist teacher assistants, and has defined the competences that this group of assistants will need to offer effective support to classroom teachers, principally at key stage 1, in the teaching of the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic.