Unison invites public to show appreciation for Derbyshire’s school support staff
Members of the public were invited to show their appreciation for the unsung heroes in education across Derbyshire during a trade union event in Chesterfield town centre.
Stars in our Schools in an annual, week-long scheme organised by the trade union Unison to celebrate the achievements of school support staff.
As part of this year’s celebrations, Derbyshire Unison commissioned bespoke awards to help highlight the wonderful work being carried out by the hidden heroes in education across the county.
The awards were then sent to every school within the area, together with a letter asking headteachers to proudly display them for all to see.
The week culminated – albeit later than planned due to the recent snowy weather – with a stall on Chesterfield market on Saturday, December 4, where a giant card was available for people to sign and give thanks to school support staff across the county.
Jeanette Lloyd, Derbyshire Unison branch secretary, said: “Stars in Our Schools is national incentive where, for a week, Unison promotes support workers throughout school.
"That’s everybody who works throughout the school apart from a teacher – caretakers, cleaners, kitchen assistants, cooks, lunchtime supervisors, clerical staff and a variety of levels of teaching assistants to name but a few of the roles.
"That’s something Unison do every year and have done ever since Michael Gove had an attack on teaching assistants some years ago.
"This year, there was also been a regional competition held by our regional office in Nottingham. Nominations were invited from all across the region, and we were proud to have two runners-up and one of the winners within our Derbyshire schools.
“The winner was at Chapel High School [in the High Peak] and that was a lady by the name of Sue Lindsey.”
Speaking about the event in Chesterfield town centre, Jeanette added: “We were giving away free chocolate as well as other freebies and had a range of activities, including a colouring competition.
“We were inviting members of the public, including some of the children themselves, to write messages within the giant card. It was really well received and we had lots of people talking to us about all the good things that support staff do in schools.”