With the start of Teacher strikes this week, many have been focused on the ongoing discussions to aid the termination of the disruptive strikes.
However, it is now the turn of the Support Staff within schools to be heard.
Support Staff unions are now looking at taking action to ensure that Support Staff are also being paid appropriately, in line with the rise in living costs.
Unison, Unite and GMB are all looking for a 12.7 % pay hike, along with additional allowances for all support staff working with SEND pupils.
While many Teachers’ unions are heading straight for government changes, support staff unions are looking at the local level, and addressing local authorities directly for the change.
The move comes, as like numerous other professions, support staff are now struggling with the rate of inflation here in the UK. Many stated that they would now earn more by taking up a role in supermarkets or high street stores.
One of the more interesting points of the conversation is that unions are now looking for additional allowances for SEND specialists.
Those Support Staff, Teaching Assistants, Learning Assistants and alike, who are directly working with SEND students, have an increased responsibility and workload. This latest movement aims to seek recognition.
Unions have also stated that Teachers who are working with SEND receive an automatic allowance, while Support Staff fall short, with only a small selection of local authorities offering the same allowance.
Yesterday (February 1st) saw the start of Teachers striking across England. The strikes saw around 40% of pupils staying at home and more than a third of schools had over half their Teachers on strike.
While the majority of schools remained open in some capacity, it is believed that Support Staff stepped up to the plate to ensure that schools could remain functioning as normally as possible throughout the day. We look forward to seeing how this will work in future strikes.
If you would like to discuss courses for your support staff, including Understanding Mental Health, please get in touch with the team today who will be happy to support you through the process.
If the recruitment crisis has hit your school, here at The Learning College we work closely with education recruitment specialists who can help find the right candidates for your roles. Please contact us directly for more information.