PostPosted: Posted in Headlines

MPTA training programme from Educational Psychology Service

After a successful pilot in the summer term of last year, Cognus’ Educational Psychology Service has been providing the Maximising the Practice of Teaching Assistants (MPTA) training programme to 11 schools in Sutton. Led by Dr Lisa Carmody (Educational Psychologist), who has undertaken extensive training to become an accredited trainer, this programme features specific training for class teachers and support staff to enhance the work of teaching assistants in the classroom.

The training has been developed from large-scale research looking into how teaching assistants can be deployed most effectively and is focused on promoting the independence of pupils and making the best use of universal support resources. We’re proud to say that Cognus is the only registered provider for MPTA training in Sutton.

We know how important it is for parents and school staff that pupils receive the support they need to progress with their learning, but also to support them in becoming increasingly independent and accomplished learners. The role of support staff and teaching assistants in facilitating this in the classroom is really important and the MPTA training directly targets the development of these skills.

Although we are at capacity for the recruitment of schools this term, we would welcome interest from schools who would like to be involved with this training in the future. For more information or enquires, please contact We look forward to hearing from settings who wish to enhance their practice in this way.

Here’s what some Teaching Assistants have said they found useful from the training:

“Learning about the difference between modelling, prompting and giving clues. How important it is to take a pause and let children take a moment. The importance of assessment for learning.” (Cheam Park Farm school)

“The clear definitions and examples of the scaffolding framework; The importance of schema and how to support pupils link their learning to help them progress. The importance of praising small steps and the process rather than the end goal and also questioning a pupils answer even when right.” (Manor Park school)

“Understanding fully what scaffolding in education means. Learning several ways this can be taught, so we can fully support the pupils independence.   Knowing all the staff will be doing this training,  so we will all be teaching in the same way.” (Manor Park school)

“Reminding myself of ‘Have I given pupils time to answer the question?’ ‘Am I  allowing the pupils the chance to work independently? Remembering to encourage pupils to work in pairs or groups.” (Brookfield school)