Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants (MITA)

14 Schools in Fareham and Gosport are taking part in a collaborative SEND improvement initiative which has been co-created by Rob Webster from the University of Portsmouth (Education Research Innovation & Consultancy (ERIC),  Sally Franklin Centre for Inclusive Education UCL, Cherry Chope Primary Phase Inspector, Hampshire Local Authority and CEO of UPAT Marion Clist.

This two-year project aims to create a core team of highly trained, research led, teaching assistants across Fareham and Gosport who will impact on the quality of learning for SEND pupils across the peninsular in both the immediate and long-term future.  

The involvement of Rob Webster and Sally Franklin, co-creators of the original MITA programme ensures that the schools involved benefit from the experience and wisdom which underpin the creation of these materials.  

The two-year project which will be evaluated by the Education Research, Innovation & Consultancy (ERIC) at the University of Portsmouth.  

Evaluation and Feedback

Evaluation of day one of MITA training for leaders


Thank you for enabling this fantastic opportunity to develop SEND provision in Hampshire Schools through MITA (Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants) training. Many thanks to Portsmouth University and the expertise of Rob Webster in supporting UPAT (University of Portsmouth Academy Trust) to secure funding. The low cost has been crucial in enabling us as a school to attend at such a reduced cost – we otherwise could not have afforded it.


Sally Franklin, as a lead researcher, created a purposeful opportunity for me to really pause and reflect. What do we do well as a school and what we can we do better? Exemplar SEND practice criteria shared created a great evaluation benchmark. Because of Day one, I intend to improve the clarity of the Teaching Assistant role. This will prevent interpretations of it and ensure the school community appreciates the purpose of practice we implement.


During the session, I noted the value of precise language in relation to this.


My notes - TA SEND practice at RJS will:


1.       Supplement and value what teachers do

2.       Liaise and work skilfully, in close partnership with the teacher, through structured, dedicated planning time

3.       Implement planning written by the teacher (following dedicated reading time)

4.       Lead learning for specific, carefully defined and planned interventions (with a rationale and evidence base)

5.       Utilise resources, facilitated by teachers, to adapt learning and support development

6.       Facilitate scaffolding effectively to support independence

7.       Scaffold, prompt, clue, model and correct learners

8.       Plan, problem solve and review through careful meta cognition

9.       Advise and update the teacher of learning outcomes to positively influence assessment for learning and whole class teaching and learning

10.   Be shared with parents / community (otherwise what they think and expect from their perspective might differ from practice)


I offer TAs PPA and I can evidence good practice. The thing that resonated with me most is that greater clarity of role expectations will have a significant impact. People will not bring their perception of expectation but rather know precisely – not rocket science I know, but crucial to secure a deeper understanding and definitely something I need to improve in school. I am also looking forward to shaping further improvements through Sally’s research and expertise.


Thanks for the CPD time to engage and reflect. A great day one – really looking forward to day two!