Oustanding Teaching Assistant Programme


The Outstanding Teaching Assistant Programme is for teaching assistants who are, or who have the potential to be, outstanding in their roles. It is intended to develop the potential for Teaching Assistants to have a wider impact on improving the quality of teaching and learning across the school. Designed and facilitated by experienced school leaders and teachers the OTAP course has gained local reputation for raising standards in teaching and learning.


OTAP enables teaching assistants to:

  • place a greater emphasis on the purpose and value of the lessons they support
  • raise levels of engagement and achievement in learning
  • use different methods and styles of support to challenge learners
  • innovate and take risks
  • have a bigger impact on the planning and assessment for the learners they support
  • demonstrate a higher level understanding of teaching and learning
  • be able to coach colleagues to raise performance

The programme focuses on a range of aspects of teaching and learning such as challenge, engagement, assessment, differentiation, questioning and planning. There are facilitated practical sessions and lesson observations at the host school, with linked practical tasks back in the participant’s own school to apply what they learn.

The OTAP content includes:

  • understanding what an outstanding teaching assistant looks like?
  • key definitions and audits of strengths & weaknesses
  • coaching for deep learning
  • new learning on differentiation
  • creating and leading an in-school project
  • developing a success criteria
  • what is effective questioning?
  • action planning and evaluation

The programme enables delegates to share ideas and strategies to help move their school’s forward. Delegates gain confidence in feeling able to voice their views and ideas, and feel empowered to take the lead in their development as “learning assistants”, with a focus on facilitating the pupils’ learning experience.


Head teachers and delegates tell us that the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Programme is having a huge impact on the role of the TA in the modern classroom:

For more information please contact Elizabeth Blackburn (SENDCO) via email: admin@ponteland.academy

Identify & Develop Leadership Potential

The three Specialist Leaders in Education/Lead Practitioners offer the OTAP and Outstanding Teaching Programme, Continual Professional Development; and Succession Planning and Talent Management.

They are available to share best practice to support schools with any aspect of teaching and learning in areas of the curriculum and provision. We are committed to developing the teaching profession to reveal the highest potential for teachers and teaching staff; and provide a wealth of talent prepared to take roles of responsibility as opportunities arise.