Outstanding Teaching Assistant Programme (OTAP)

"I found the programme and the way it was facilitated to be excellent. It's already changed my practice and outcomes whilst challenging my own behaviour".
OTAP Participant 2018

The Outstanding Teaching Assistant Programme (OTAP) is an accredited course 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 forms part of the OLEVI Teaching & Learning Syllabus which has gained a national 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 has been learned. 

The OTAP content includes:

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

The programme enables delegates to share ideas and strategies to help move their schools 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 students’ learning experience.


This programme is for teaching assistants who are, or who have, the potential to be outstanding in their roles. 

For further information please email: