November? That’s months away, right? After all, the summer holidays have barely ended and the evenings have hardly started drawing in.
But there’s not long until UNISON’s Stars in Our Schools celebrations, which take place every November as a way of recognising our dedicated school support staff – the all-too-often unsung stars of the UK’s education system.
UNISON’s 250,000 members in schools make sure that pupils receive a top-quality education: schools need a diverse team to create safe and happy places to learn.
That’s why UNISON organises this nationwide celebration of the hard work undertaken by these dedicated workers who are so often tucked away behind the scenes of our schools – the cleaners, catering staff, teaching assistants, technicians, admin workers, business managers, facilities and maintenance staff and many more.
This year, the fourth annual Stars in Our Schools day takes place on 25 November – or any time that month that fits with school plans.
So now is the time to start organising for this year’s celebration and for the stars who look after
If you work in a school, have children or grandchildren at school, are a school governor or UNISON rep, then talk to the head teacher about organising an event on the day or during the month.
Some ideas from previous years include holding awards ceremonies, putting on special assemblies and even dressing up as super heroes.
Some schools are asking their local MP, councillors or mayors, together with the press, to join them for the day.
Pupils will be writing poems and songs or writing cards to say thanks to their school support staff. Check our dedicated starsinourschools.uk website for lots of other ideas.
See our 2015 round-up to find out more about what schools at primary and secondary level, including special schools, did up and down the country.
The day offers a fantastic opportunity for UNISON reps and activists, organisers and local government branches to build contacts in schools and recruit new members from catering, facilities, offices, labs and classrooms – the whole school support staff team.
Every head teacher in the country is receiving a letter at the start of term about the day.
And you can download and share a host of Stars in Our Schools graphics from starsinourschools.uk to customise your own materials: there are new resources available now and more coming soon.
These are part of a range of dedicated materials available from TC Branding, including mugs, pens, pencils, badges, A5 goodie bags, squeezable stress stars, canvas bags with shoulder straps, and notepads.
They can be ordered direct by email from firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phoning TC Branding on 01844 275 700 by 19 October.
The resources page on the Stars in Our Schools website also contains a how-to guide with lots of ideas to help you run your own event.