Friday 24 November is the day when UNISON celebrates the huge contribution of support staff to our children’s education.
The aim of the celebration day is to showcase and bring attention to the vital work support staff do, every day, to help children progress, keep them safe and healthy and keep schools running smoothly.
There are a variety of support staff roles including teaching assistants, site managers, catering staff, welfare staff, technicians, admin staff and cleaners, among others.
As much of this work is done behind the scenes, support staff don’t get the attention they deserve. This includes members working in early years settings, so not only will we be celebrating Stars in Our Schools, this year we’ll also be celebrating Early Years Stars too.
All types of schools and early years settings are encouraged to take part this November. Over the past few years, primaries, secondaries, special schools, academies and faith schools have all got involved in a variety of ways – including holding special assemblies, coffee mornings, sports afternoons or learning events.
Some have invited their local MPs to visit and witness first hand what support staff do. Others have held fancy dress days, organised quizzes or asked the children to interview support staff to find out more about their role.
We know schools and early years settings are under huge pressure at the moment. It remains more important than ever for UNISON to highlight the valuable and fantastic contributions of support staff. We would love you to get involved and celebrate on 24 November, but it can be anytime in November if that works better.
We would also love for you to share your photos of your celebrations with us on social media – remember to use the hashtags #starsinourschools #earlyyearsstars
There is a range of merchandise available to order for both Stars in Our Schools and Early Years Stars. To ensure you receive them in good time, you must place your order no later than 6 October.
There are lots of free resources on the website to help you celebrate the day, from social media assets, PowerPoint slides, letter templates and more. Keep checking the website as we make regular updates.
We are running an exciting prize draw where anyone can nominate a support staff member who they think is a Star. The winning Star and the person who nominates them both win a £25 shopping voucher, per region, so there are 24 prizes up for grabs. Nominations opens on the website from mid-October.
- To find out more about Stars in Our Schools visit www.starsinourschools.uk or contact your local UNISON branch.