Education support staff crucial for children’s recovery

#STUC22 Disadvantaged children and young people suffered the greatest losses to their learning during the pandemic, delegates heard. Congress backed calls from education union NASUWT for investment to prevent longer term social, developmental and education inequalities.

Lorraine Thomson, moving UNISON’s amendment, said the role of Early Learning and Child Care and school support staff during the pandemic must be recognised. These staff had made sure the most vulnerable children were supported.

“Coming out of the pandemic the focus must be on supporting the recovery of babies, children and young people,” said Lorraine, “and that means the recovery of the services that support them.”

“We need a public services-driven recovery that invests in children’s services.”

“Covid has had a major impact on children’s mental health and we expect there will be a lot of challenges around children’s social, emotional and behavioural needs over the next few years.”

“They will need the support of appropriately trained and rewarded classroom assistants and pupil support staff.  The key issue is adequate funding, adequate staffing including both numbers, skills mix and ongoing training and professional development for staff. We need action to recruit, train, develop and reward all Education support staff.”