School celebrates staff on union day

The  official opening of Sacred Skies on Annesley Road, in Hucknall.
The official opening of Sacred Skies on Annesley Road, in Hucknall.

A Bulwell school has celebrated the hard work of the unsung heroes who support the teachers as part of a special day organised by the union UNISON.

Children at Bulwell St Mary’s C Of E Primary School made cards, gifts and cakes to say ‘thank you’ to the cleaners, teaching assistants, kitchen staff and lollipop ladies.

Pupils learned about the jobs done by support staff, and Brian Crosby, a representative from UNISON, talked to the children about the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Executive headteacher Rebecca Meredith said: “The children have enjoyed the week. The staff here work very hard. It’s an opportunity to say thank you to them.”

A UNISON spokesperson said: “School support staff help children learn, keep children safe and healthy and make sure schools run smoothly. They are the caterers, the admin staff, the finance officers, the teaching assistants, the librarians and more.

“We want to use the national celebration day on Friday 28th November to shout about all the wonderful work they do every day and just how vital they are for our children’s education.”

Tristram Hunt, Shadow Education Secretary, and Dave Prentis, UNISON general secretary issued a joint statement on school support staff: “We know from our regular discussions with school support staff that it is the impact that they have on the academic attainment and the development of character and resilience in children and young people that motivates you to undertake the work you do with such passion, dedication and professionalism.

“And that is why we believe that the government’s decision to scrap the school staff negotiating body dealt a hammer blow to advancing the status and standing of school support staff.

“They deserve the right to a fair deal. We support the re-establishment of a School Support Staff Negotiating Body in the next Parliament. There are many issues for us to grapple with – not least workload, terms and conditions and remuneration – but to ensure a fair deal, support staff need a fair hearing.”