Three Dorset schools have won prizes in the annual “stars in our schools” awards to celebrate the achievements of their support staff.
Support staff in schools across the county created pieces of art to represent the contribution they and their colleagues made to students’ education. Officers from their trade union, UNISON, then delivered hampers of tea, coffee, and cakes to the teams behind the best artworks.
The awards follow a month of workplace events organised by UNISON to raise awareness of the value of school support staff.
The winning schools were St Luke’s junior school in Bournemouth, Poole Longspee academy, and Allenbourn middle school in Wimborne.
UNISON South West area organiser responsible for the awards, Georgina Knight, said:
“Classroom assistants, school meal staff, technicians, cleaners, and many others do essential work keeping kids safe, healthy, and learning. They deal with difficult situations and go beyond the call of duty, while coping with school budgets squeezed by rising costs and demand.
“Saying ‘thank you’ to support staff is the least we can do, and it’s been great seeing colleagues, students and parents get involved. So much of the work of educating young people is down to these stars, and we want to see them valued and respected appropriately”.
UNISON steward at Poole Longspee academy, Gill Henderson, said:
“It can seem a thankless task working behind the scenes for wages that are often very low, but I’m proud to help kids to get an education. The stars in our schools awards have been a nice way for support staff to take pride in our work and have our worth recognised”.