01-02-2019

Support staff conference

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The first National Education Union (NEU) Support Staff Conference took place on Saturday 2 March.

Hundreds of support staff members attended the conference. The keynote speakers were Kim Knappett, NEU joint president and Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU.

Dr Mary Bousted focused her speech on the results of the recent support staff survey and said that they “paint a worrying picture of support staff members struggling to cope with real-terms funding cuts and the consequent additional pressures on workload.” She also denounced the continued exploitation and mismanagement of support staff who remain in post.

Reacting to the findings of the support staff survey, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, said:

“Unpaid hours are not just widespread, but normalised. The majority of support staff are made to do the work of teachers. They are seen as the cheap option. And as the cuts bite, the numbers of support staff become fewer in the majority of schools. This is a deplorable situation".

The Conference had three CPD sessions:

  • Meeting the needs of every child: effective classroom support 
  • Building Resilience
  • Support Staff and the NEU 

Members found the conference very useful and interactive and had these to say: 

“Excellent interactive session, where we really got to identify how we can build the union.”

“Great networking. Very positive.”

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