What is MITA?
The Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants (MITA) project aims to improve the way TAs are used in classrooms and ensure they make a valuable contribution to learning. The research project is a collaboration between UCL Institute of Education and the London Leadership Strategy, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation. Shirley Manor is one of a number of schools contributing to research in this area with findings hopefully being published in 2020.
Shirley Manor began working with the MITA project in September 2017. All staff have been trained on the principles of MITA and have taken part in the 2 year project. Mrs Lacey and Mrs Whitmore have been leading on this. Our champions for MITA are Mrs Clavin, Mrs Thomas and Mrs Kellett.
Over the last 2 years, our children have become more independent and self-reliant, managing their own expectations and recognising their achievements. This has linked in with Growth Mindset which encourages children to become more resilient learners. TAs at Shirley Manor have found that MITA has raised their professional profile and status and makes them feel more valued. In a recent staff questionnaire they said they 'Use their time more wisely', 'Has made their role more challenging' and they can 'See a difference in staff and children's attitudes to learning'.
Speaking to Mrs Clavin and Mrs Thomas, they both feel that ‘Our role in school has changed significantly, we feel like we are part of a big family who are helping to change the lives of all the children in our care. It has given us a whole school prospective and to have a strategic view of how a school works which has allowed us to develop our own personal and professional skills.’
Sharing Good Practice
Mrs Lacey is now a certified Maximising the Practice of Teaching Assistants (MPTA) trainer and is working with the local authority and other schools. The champions alongside Mrs Lacey have been sharing good practice and have already delivered two training sessions at school which have been well received.