Politicians put school support staff in spotlight

Show of support for UNISON’s Stars in our Schools campaign

In a major show of recognition, politicians from across Wales will attend events in schools on Friday 27 November to praise the hard work of school support staff.

So often the unsung heroes of schools, teaching assistants, midday supervisors, admin workers, catering staff and cleaning staff, are part of the whole education team who make our schools the success they are.

Welsh government ministers, Assembly Members and MPs have committed to supporting UNISON’s Stars in our Schools day of celebration, a highlight of which involves Welsh education minister, Huw Lewis acting in his role as Assembly Member for Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney, serving food in the school canteen at Edwardsville primary in Merthyr Tydfil.

Assembly Members including Jane Hutt, Julie JamesMark Drakeford and Vaughan Gething will all visit schools in their constituencies and speak to support staff. So too, will MPs Jo Stevens, Kevin Brennan and Stephen Doughty.

UNISON, the largest trade union for school support staff in Wales, has organised the day to make sure the world knows just how vital these employees are to children’s education.

On 27 November, schools right across Wales will be holding awards ceremonies, putting on special assemblies or holding a coffee morning to thank support staff for their commitment over the last year. At some schools as a gesture of appreciation, teachers will work to cover break times and tea and cake refreshments are being left at the end of the day especially for cleaning staff.

Jess Turner, UNISON Cymru Wales lead organiser for schools said,

“UNISON has organised Stars in our Schools to shine a light on the wonderful work of support staff. We are very pleased so many politicians want to champion the positive role of the whole school support staff team in making schools safe and happy place for children to learn. UNISON is dedicated to campaigning for decent terms and conditions for all school support staff.”



Notes to editors

Huw Lewis AM will visit Edwardsville Primary, Treharris, Merthyr Tydfil at midday

Julie James AM will visit Bishop Gore Comprehensive School between 11.30am and 1.30pm

Jane Hutt AM will visit Romilly Primary School, Romilly Road, Barry at 11.30am

The following events are organised in the Cardiff area: –

  • Jo Stevens MP (Central) – Roath Park Primary 10.30
  • Jenny Rathbone AM (Central)- St Teilos CinW High 9-10am
  • Kevin Brennan MP  & Mark Drakeford AM (West) – Ty Gwyn 10.30 am
  • Stephen Doughty MP & Vaughn Gethin AM (South) – Willows 1-2pm
  • Julie Morgan AM (North) – Cathays High  – 1-3 pm


Jess Turner, UNISON Cymru Wales lead organiser for schools on 07950 261 606.