This page provides UNISON members and organisers with a brief summary of the latest Trade Union news in schools.
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UNISON Schools’ Update
UNISON Campaign Against Funding Cuts to Schools
Please find below a number of resources available to UNISON Members working in Schools.
UNISON Guidance on Managing Difficult Behaviour in Schools
Please find below the UNISON Guidance on managing difficult behaviour in schools.
Schools National Newsletter
Please view the most recent publication of the Schools Newsletter below:
New Statutory Guidance: Supporting Pupils at School with Medical Conditions
The department for Education has published new statutory guidance for schools about supporting pupils at school with medical conditions. The guidance will come into force on 1 September 2014 and will be reviewed in September 2015. This document can be downloaded from the Gov.uk website.
UNISON and RCN Call for Urgent Action to Protect Pupils with Health Needs in Schools
UNISON and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have published the worrying results of a survey on providing support to pupils with health needs. Over 2300 school support staff and registered nurses completed the survey. The survey results show that despite many examples of good practice, a growing number of children and young people with increasingly complex health needs are being put at risk as staff are being pressurised into caring for them without enough training, supervision and support. The majority of school support staff do not receive regular training, and some report never having any training at all before being expected to provide health care support to pupils. And nearly one in five support staff say they feel forced to take on the responsibility for administering medicines or healthcare procedures as they did not want to let children down.
UNISON and the RCN are calling on schools, local authorities and the government to take urgent action. The lack of training and support for school staff who have to deal with children with increasingly complex health needs is a tragedy waiting to happen. View the following document for further information:
New Book Calls on Schools to Give Teaching Assistants Proper Support
The Institute of Education has published a new book which highlights the role of teaching assistants (TAs) and classroom assistants. It says that TAs make a significant contribution to the way that pupils learn and achieve, but argues that schools must “fundamentally rethink” the role of TAs and give them proper support.
TAs are increasingly undervalued and under pressure in the classroom – so this new book is welcome news. The book shows how schools can make improvements to the way TAs are trained, deployed and prepared – and how TAs add value to what teachers do.
We are currently awaiting an up to date link to this information.
New Early Years Handbook Published (England)
The Department for Education has published its handbook on the revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The handbook includes important information and guidance for staff delivering the EYFS. The handbook includes information on the revised learning goals and guidance on completing profile assessments. The DfE will not be producing hard copies of the handbook, however this can be viewed or downloaded below:
Pensions – Automatic Enrolment is Coming
To help people prepare for their retirement, the government is putting in place new plans for pensions automatic enrolment. This means that, in the future, if you are not an existing member of a pension scheme you will be automatically enrolled in a scheme.
Most school support staff are currently members of the Local Government Pensions Scheme (LGPS) so they won’t be affected. However, new staff or staff that have chosen not to join the LGPS should be aware that they could be automatically enrolled into the pension scheme in future. The pensions section of the UNISON website provides more information.
UNISON is campaigning for decent pensions for all workers and the LGPS remains a good quality pension scheme. UNISON branches and activists are making members aware of the benefits of saving for a pension through the LGPS – and a new guidance briefing called ’10 reasons for saving in the LGPS’ has been sent to UNISON local government branches.
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