School support staff were celebrated as “stars” during an event at Elveden Academy near Thetford today.
Parents came in during a special assembly to present support staff with presents and VIP badges thanking them for their hard work, while children gave staff cards that they made themselves.
One of the classrooms was turned into a spa run by the kids and the schools treated staff to a special lunch, with cakes and goody bags provided by UNISON.
And students have spent the last week getting to know their support staff better, interviewing them about their jobs in videos for the school’s Facebook page.
UNISON organises the campaign to highlight the contribution caterers, admin staff, finance officers, teaching assistants, librarians, ICT technicians, parent support advisers and other non-teaching staff.
UNISON local organiser Dionne Eade said: “Schools simply couldn’t run without the vital work that support staff do in the classrooms and behind the scenes.
“Despite years of cuts making it harder and harder to do their jobs, support staff work hard away from the limelight creating a safe and happy place for children to learn.
“That’s why so many pupils and teachers have taken the opportunity today to write letters of thanks to these true stars in their schools.”
Elveden Academy head teacher Lorna Rourke said: “Teaching for 20 years, I could not do the job I do without the invaluable work of all of the support staff at our schools.
“Everyone plays an essential role in the running of the schools and ensuring that children have the very best experience possible.
“We work as a team and want the very best for the children, support staff always go above and beyond. We want to show our appreciation as it does not go unnoticed.”
Reverend Paul Tams, who addressed the assembly, said: “Support staff care for and help pupils, teachers, parents and visitors – they are an essential part of the team that is a school.
“It takes a whole team to make a school a safe and happy place for children to learn and grow, and to ensure everything runs smoothly.”