Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
15/05/2017
Date assigned
20/07/2017
Last edited
21/06/2017
Prospective/Retrospective
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Ongoing
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Teaching assistants (TAs) are used in nearly every school in England and the total costs of TAs runs into the billions of pounds. Research to-date suggests that TAs are not deployed as well as they could be, with (for example) TAs being used for behaviour management rather than taking an active part in classroom teaching. The aim of the intervention is to assess the effectiveness of a ‘whole school’ intervention aimed to better deploy teaching assistants (TAs) which is expected to improve pupil outcomes through: (a) better interaction between pupil and TAs; (b) improved classroom management and lesson planning; and (c) enable classroom teachers to work more with lower-achieving pupils.

Who can participate?
All Year 2 and Year 5 Primary school pupils who attend eligible schools.

What does the study involve?
Participating schools are allocated to one of two groups. Schools in the first group receive 12 hours training for SLT and three support sessions from the NLE in-school, 8 hours training for TAs and 4 hours training for teachers. These will all be delivered across one school year. Schools in the second group continue to teach as per usual practice.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Participants may benefit from improved learning outcomes. There are no notable risks involved for those participating.

Where is the study run from?
The study is being run by RAND Europe based in Cambridge and takes place in 100 schools (UK)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
September 2017 to December 2020

Who is funding the study?
Education Endowment Foundation (UK)

Who is the main contact?
Dr. Alex Sutherland

Trial website

Contact information

Type

Public

Primary contact

Dr Alex Sutherland

ORCID ID

http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0276-9705

Contact details

RAND Europe
Westbrook Centre
Milton Road
Cambridge
CB4 1YG
United Kingdom
+44 1223 273884
alex_sutherland@rand.org

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

ClinicalTrials.gov number

Protocol/serial number

N/A

Study information

Scientific title

A randomised controlled trial of the 'Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants' intervention for pupils in Primary Years 2-5 in three cluster areas in the UK

Acronym

MITA

Study hypothesis

1. The intervention has a positive effect on pupils’ attainment, specifically:
1.1. Better reading outcomes (vs controls) for Year 3 pupils
1.2. Better reading and mathematics outcomes (vs controls) for Year 6 pupils
2. The intervention results in improved deployment of the school TA workforce
3. The intervention results in change of practices, specifically:
3.1. Practices aimed at improved interactions between TAs and pupils.
3.2. Practices aimed at fostering pupil independence
4. The intervention has a positive effect on pupils’ engagement

Ethics approval

Cambridge University - Research Ethics Review for Faculty of Education, 18/01/2017

Study design

Two-arm cluster-randomised controlled trial

Primary study design

Interventional

Secondary study design

Cluster randomised trial

Trial setting

Schools

Trial type

Other

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet

Condition

Literacy and numeracy

Intervention

Participating schools are randomised to one of two groups by the evaluation team independently of the intervention team.

Control group: Schools conduct business as usual for the duration of the study.

Intervention group: Schools participate in a whole-school intervention that involves training headteachers, classroom teachers and teaching assistants on how to better use TAs as a resource. The intervention training in year 1 consists of: 12 hours training for senior leadership team and three support sessions, eight hours’ training for TAs and 4 hours’ training for teachers. These will all be delivered across one school year, with outcomes measured in both year 1 (intervention year) and year 2 (implementation year).

Pupils in both arms of the study will be followed up at the end of the 2018/19 academic year. Younger pupils (Year 4) will be tested with an external reading test which will be independently administered. Older pupils (Year 6) will have their Key Stage 2 national testing for Reading and Mathematics used as outcome measures.

Intervention type

Behavioural

Phase

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

1. Reading (Year 3 pupils) will be assessed by an external test at baseline (before the intervention year) and at the end of implementation year
2. Maths/Reading (Year 4 pupils) will be assessed at baseline through Key Stage 1 results and at the end of implementation year through Key Stage 2 results

Secondary outcome measures

1. Pupil engagement test will be measured by the 'Engagement vs. Dissaffection with Learning: Student-report' (EvDLS)
2. Change in practice will be measured through surveys, classroom observations and 'talk data' of teacher & TA-pupil interactions

Overall trial start date

21/10/2016

Overall trial end date

31/12/2020

Reason abandoned

Eligibility

Participant inclusion criteria

Schools:
1. Ideally two or three form entry primary or junior schools, but we have accepted one and four-form entry.
2. No prior engagement in MITA and/or MPTA training sessions
3. No prior action taken following recommendations from the EEF TA guidance or MITA or MPTA handbooks
4. Not in special measures
5. Not facing imminent leadership changes

All pupils included in the eligible schools will have the chance to be selected. All schools who fulfil the inclusion/exclusion criteria and who volunteer for the trial will be eligible for the intervention.

Participant type

Other

Age group

Mixed

Gender

Both

Target number of participants

Approximately 13,200 pupils nested in 100 schools

Participant exclusion criteria

All pupils included in the eligible schools will have the chance to be selected. All schools who fulfil the inclusion/exclusion criteria and who volunteer for the trial will be eligible for the intervention.

Recruitment start date

07/06/2017

Recruitment end date

07/06/2017

Locations

Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

RAND Europe
Westbrook Centre Milton Road
Cambridge
CB4 1YG
United Kingdom

Sponsor information

Organisation

RAND Europe

Sponsor details

Westbrook Centre
Milton Road
Cambridge
CB4 1YG
United Kingdom

Sponsor type

Research organisation

Website

http://www.rand.org/randeurope.html

Organisation

University of Cambridge

Sponsor details

Professor Anna Vignoles
Faculty of Education
Hills Road
Cambridge
CB2 8PQ
United Kingdom

Sponsor type

University/education

Website

Funders

Funder type

Charity

Funder name

Education Endowment Foundation

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype

Location

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

There will be a report for the EEF website publishing following peer-review by the EEF evaluator panel.

IPD Sharing statement:
The data will be held by the Education Endowment Foundation. Should a mechanism for data-sharing be agreed then data would be made publically available under restricted access agreements, but we do not have further details.

Intention to publish date

31/12/2019

Participant level data

Not expected to be available

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes