UNISON welcomes new independent review panel for Teaching Assistants

Today’s announcement by the Department for Education (DfE) to set up a review panel to look at the status and professional standards of Teaching Assistants has been welcomed by UNISON the main union for Teaching Assistants.
Jon Richards, UNISON Head of Education and Children’s Services said: “This is very welcome news. We have been campaigning to achieve this for years and we are delighted that Karen Jackson, a UNISON member and Higher Level Teaching Assistant is on the panel. We had already begun work on Professional Standards, with the National Education Trust, which we will feed into the review.
“Only last year, right wing think tanks and some in Government were seeking to get rid of Teaching Assistants. Our campaign to defend this invaluable group of staff and recent research has changed the narrative. It showed that when deployed properly, Teaching Assistants have a positive impact on children’s education. Wisely, the DfE have recognised that if you improve the skills and professional standards of teaching assistants this will have a positive impact on education standards.
“We will work to ensure that the work of other forgotten groups of support staff is also recognised by the DfE and look forward to the re-introduction of the School Support Staff Negotiating Body, recently proposed by Tristram Hunt, Labour Shadow Secretary for Education.”
UNISON is the largest education union in the UK, with 350,000 members. Over 150,000 of these are Teaching/classroom Assistants.