Tameside schools celebrate support staff stars
Friday 25th November 2016 @ 09:16 by Adam Higgins
Community Denton & Audenshaw Hyde News

School support staff across Tameside are to be recognised today (Friday) as part of a UK-wide celebration of the invaluable contribution they make to the education of pupils. 

UNISON has organised the ‘Stars in Our Schools’ events to promote the wonderful work school support staff do every day, and to make sure the world knows just how vital they are to every school.

There will be events at Denton Community College and Flowery Field Primary School.

Support staff will be thanked and presented with a small gift from the pupils they work with most, and they will share a huge celebration cake.

Sarah France, a UNISON organiser based in Tameside, said: “This annual UK-wide celebration day is a great opportunity for pupils, parents and teachers to promote the exceptional work of their support staff and thank them for their contribution.

“School support staff are so often the unsung heroes in our schools and play an integral part in the education of young people.

“Their roles are incredibly diverse, from cooks, cleaners and caretakers to family support advisers, examinations staff and school business managers. They play a vital role in every aspect of school life and without them schools could not run.”

Alvin Fell, Head teacher at Flowery Field, said: “Flowery Field manages to be a ‘good’ school because it has hardworking, talented and dedicated staff who are focussed upon doing their very best for the children.

“All of the jobs the support staff perform directly contribute to providing the best education we can for the children.”

And Mason B, a Pupil in Year 6, agreed: “The support staff are very helpful. They help us so much and they’re someone you can talk to if you ever have a problem. Without the support staff, I don’t think I’d like coming to school as much as I do.  Thanks to the staff for always being there for us.”

Nick Condliffe, Head teacher at Denton Community College said: “Support Staff play a key role in supporting our students.  I am delighted that UNISON’s ‘Stars in Our Schools’ event provides an opportunity to recognise and celebrate their hard work and commitment.”

A Year 9 Student at Denton Community College said: “Our support staff play an important role by challenging us to achieve our goals and ensure we are happy and safe. They always put 100% effort into everything they do and we are so grateful for them.”

Andrew Gwynne MP, who will be presenting recognition awards to support staff at Denton Community College, said: “The fantastic work of school support staff too often goes unnoticed. For children to truly excel at school they need not only the best teachers but a strong infrastructure of support staff to provide both academic and emotional support.

“UNISON’s ‘Stars in our Schools’ initiative is a great opportunity for us to fully appreciate the outstanding work of school assistants up and down the country that keeps our schools running smoothly.”

Hyde and Stalybridge MP Jonathan Reynolds, who will be presenting recognition awards to support staff at Flowery Field, said: “School support staff are some of our most under-valued public servants. The difference they make to children’s learning and happiness is immeasurable.

“They help create an exciting learning environment, and in my experience, always go the extra mile. My children adore all their teaching assistants.

“My teenage son Jack, who has autism, still misses his primary school TA, Mrs Butler, dearly. He thought of her as family. I want to publically thank Mrs Butler for all she did for Jack, and to thank each and every one of the support staff for working flat out to enrich our children’s lives.”