commitment to remodelling the school workforce.
Speaking at a Unison symposium on 'Building a World Class Education
modern workforce that will transform primary and secondary education.
Paying tribute to the tremendous contribution that teaching
assistants have already made, she outlined her vision of the future
where there would be more job opportunities, scope for development
and career progression.
Estelle Morris said yesterday:
'Schools, like all organisations, must value their staff and develop
their full potential. They cannot replace teachers and there is no
wish for them to do so. But teaching assistants have a vital role to
play in our classrooms and should be encouraged to contribute as
fully as they can. Developing the role of support staff is good for
everyone in education. It will provide teachers with better support,
allowing them to concentrate on teaching and will give teaching
assistants the recognition they deserve.
'As aspirations for young people rise so do demands on schools and
the school workforce. This brings challenges and opportunities for
staff at all levels in schools. I want to create an environment where
greater use is made of all resources and pupils are giving the chance
to learn at their own speed. Teaching assistants will be crucial in
meeting this challenge and I call on all schools and local
authorities to recognise this.'
New development opportunities for support staff include foundation
degrees specifically created for teaching assistants. New
occupational standards are also in place for teaching assistants and
dedicated NVQs will be available later in the year. 12 local pilot
projects are also developing routes into teaching for teaching
This Press Notice applies to England.
1. The Universities of Hull, Leicester and Lancaster are all leading
consortia which are delivering DfES prototype Foundation Degrees for
teaching assistants and Pre-16 learning and support staff.
2. Pilot research projects to develop local provision for teaching
assistants to reach qualified teacher status are currently being
University of Central England in Birmingham
East Midlands Consortium
University of Hull
Sheffield Hallam University
Oxford Brookes University
University of Northumbria
Knowsley LEA/Liverpool John Moores University
University College Northampton
University of Sussex
3. A working party has been established to help remodel schools. It
will look at the development of new career structures and ladders for
support staff, as a vital force in our schools, helping to raise
standards. It will also explore further how else schools can be
remodelled to allow teachers to spend more time concentrating on
teaching, but with time for high quality lesson preparation and
4. Estelle Morris outlined her vision of the school of the future at
the Social Market Foundation, where she launched a document
Professionalism and Trust - The Future of Teachers and Teaching.
Copies are available for press from the Social Market Foundation
(020 7222 7060 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
5. On 4 January, the secretary of state announced that the government
will fund 30 'Pathfinder' schools with up to£4m to explore
solutions to tackle excessive workload and pioneer reforms. The
lessons learnt from these pioneering schools will be shared across
the country. The package will include additional support staff, with
at least one new member of staff for primary schools and about four
for the average secondary school, and training opportunities
including induction for new support staff and teaching assistants as
well as skills-based training in their new role.
6.£750m has been made available to local education authorities
between 1999- 2004 to recruit and train new teaching assistants.
The government has recruited 25,000 additional teaching assistants,
a large proportion of whom have been offered induction training. The
total number of support staff has risen to 190,000 - an increase of
52,000 since 1997.