The government is failing teaching assistants, says UNISON

UNISON has today (Friday) slammed the government for dropping the long-awaited teaching assistants standards despite being ready for publication.

The standards – meant to be published back in February – are the results of months of work by a panel of teaching assistants, supported by unions and professional associations.

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said: “It beggars belief that ministers have decided to drop the teaching assistants standards just as they are ready to be launched.

“A huge amount of work has been put into developing them, work that would have benefited both teaching assistants and pupils alike. Teaching assistants will be hugely disappointed that the standards they were expecting have now been dropped.

“Once again, ministers have shown that they cannot see beyond teachers and that they don’t value support staff. 

“Dropping the standards at this late stage is a huge mistake and we are urging ministers to think again.”

The news that the teaching assistants standards were being dropped by the government was uncovered by Schools’ Week.

Notes to editors

Professional standards have recently been introduced for head teachers and school catering staff. UNISON will continue to campaign for the introduction of the teaching assistants standards.

The Professional Standards for Teaching Assistants (2015) define high standards which are applicable to all teaching assistant roles in a self-improving school system. The main purpose of these standards is to raise the status and professionalism of teaching assistants and to position their role within a community of professionals, including teachers and school leaders, all working together to improve outcomes for children.

UNISON media contacts

Fatima Ayad T: 0207 121 5255 M: 07508 080383 E:

Liz Chinchen T: 0207 121 5463 M: 07778 158175 E: