Alison Boshier, Ceredigion branch secretary, centre. Photo credit: Tracey Paddison
56 school support workers for pre-school and reception age children in Ceredigion are threatened with redundancy or reduced working hours because the budget for Foundation Phase support has been significantly cut. Staff have told UNISON they are fed up at being targeted each year when schools need to make cuts and morale could not be lower.
The trade union said it is predominantly female low paid workers who are affected by the cuts and UNISON warned reducing school support staff creates problems for teachers and pupils will lose out.
Alison Boshier, UNISON branch secretary said,
“Ceredigion teaching assistants have told us they have been made to feel worthless. They are low paid women going way beyond their job descriptions to help teachers and children, yet they face an annual worry of whether they will have a job in the next school year or how they will need to trim the family budget if their hours are reduced. They are simply not appreciated.
“Nine years of severe spending cuts by the UK government is undermining our children’s education. We need an end to austerity and the urgent intervention of the Welsh government.”
“UNISON is trying to persuade head teachers to find other savings which will not affect the quality of teaching. Fewer assistants mean support for children is reduced.”
UNISON intends to organise a #SpeakUpForSchools campaign day at school gates across Wales, involving support staff, teachers, parents and supporters to draw attention to the school funding crisis.
Notes for editors
Teaching assistants undertake vital but unheralded jobs which make schools the success they are. They assist Special Educational Needs children and those in need of extra support; help teachers to cope with big classes; release teachers for preparation time and help those with English as an Additional Language.
Alastair Gittins, UNISON Press Officer on 07816 538397