27/05/2011 11:02 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Teaching Assistants Make No Difference, Claims Report

Teaching assistants make no difference claims report PA

A new report on education claims that the presence of teaching assistants makes no difference to pupils' academic achievements.

The study - which was commissioned to see how to make best use of the new Pupil Premium (a new extra funding scheme for poorer students) - claims many of the methods schools put in place to improve performance have little effect.

School uniforms, smaller classes and homework were all criticised as having little impact in the report by The Sutton Trust, whilst classroom assistants had only a 'very small or no effect' on attainment.

The report conceded that assistants can have a 'positive effect' on pupils' attitudes to work, but their presence can negatively impact on standards when used as a replacement for teachers.

The numbers of teaching assistants in schools rose dramatically under Labour, and their popularity has continued with around 214,000 hired so far this year.

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