Gwynedd council to pay school assistant fees

UNISON Cymru / Wales lobbying sees seventh council agree to pay new annual registration fees for school staff

Gwynedd council has become the seventh Welsh authority to commit to paying the registration fees for its learning support workers after concerted lobbying by UNISON Cymru Wales.

Learning support workers or teaching assistants do all those vital but unheralded jobs in our schools, supporting special educational needs children and underperforming children and helping teachers cope with large classes.

From April 2016, all learning support workers in Wales will be required to be registered with the Education Workforce Council (EWC). The registration fee is an annual payment of £15 per person.

As the union for school support staff, UNISON has been campaigning for local authorities to pay the registration fee for all learning support workers in Wales and reiterated this message recently to all Welsh council leaders at a joint meeting.

Gwynedd UNISON teaching assistant steward Bethan Owen said: “This good news will give the entire region’s teaching assistants a boost. UNISON commends the council for recognising the crucial role assistants play in our schools.

“We are pleased that they acknowledged the strength of our argument.”

Jess Turner UNISON Cymru/Wales lad drganiser for schools said: “Yet another council has recognised the need to pay the fees for its learning support workers, following similar decisions Cardiff, Bridgend, Swansea, Torfaen County, the Vale of Glamorgan and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

“UNISON will continue our campaigning efforts to ensure learning support workers get the fair recognition they deserve with decent training, a uniform career structure and fair pay.”