Institute of Education


The role of teaching / classroom assistants during the COVID crisis

A study looking at how teaching / classroom assistants and those working in classroom support roles have been working with children, families and teachers during the COVID crisis.

The project will explore the contributions teaching / classroom assistants have made to education during COVID as schools have switched between supporting children’s learning in school and at home.

By focusing on the dilemmas teaching / classroom assistants have faced and the lessons they have learnt during the pandemic, we will use our findings to help shape what happens next in education and inform UNISON’s decision-making at this difficult time for schools.

This project will build on earlier work undertaken by ILC looking at primary schools' responses to COVID

Funder: UNISON.

Project duration: January - March 2021.


Against a background of intense public debate over education during the COVID crisis, and in a context where there is limited research evidence to guide actions, we hope to inform decision-making about how schools can best function while the pandemic lasts and as schools begin to get back to normal. 

The International Literacy Centre (ILC) are conducting this research. UCL Institute of Education is at the forefront of current research to understand how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting on education.

This research is helping set an agenda for change in education going forward. 


The project combines a survey of teaching / classroom assistants with a small number of post-survey interviews.

The survey was distributed by UNISON to its members and by the UCL Institute of Education research team to their networks: the survey is now closed, thanks for your interest.


Principal Investigator



  • UNISON - funder and collaborating partner