Commenting on the announcement of a £2.7m supply teacher project, Jess Turner, UNISON Cymru Wales lead on schools said,
“It’s sensible for the Welsh government to consider the implications of teacher absence on learning but it’s disappointing there is no mention of the vital role of support staff.
“Support staff make up fifty percent of the school workforce and schools wouldn’t be able to survive without them. They help to support Special Educational Needs children and those underperforming, help teachers to cope with big classes, release teachers for preparation time and help those with English as an Additional Language.
“If support staff are off work sick, there’s is a significant impact for pupils, colleagues and agency staff. We want Welsh government to acknowledge this and issue similar guidelines to help schools in the event of teaching assistants’ absence.”