Inclusion review

The lead reps are

The formal consultation is due to start in January 2024.

Read news about the Inclusion review

Make your voice heard!

We need to hear from all members in scope to help form Unite’s counter proposals. Pupil Support Assistants and School Support Assistants have had provided feedback about their roles—please contact a lead rep to make sure your voice is heard.

Join the Unite school support WhatsApp group to discuss issues with fellow members and Unite reps. Text 07719481092 with your name and school to get your joining request approved.

Let us know any comments or questions in the comments section below.

Engagement in 2023

We attended every engagement session held by the council to speak to workers and understand their issues.

We ran a job evaluation survey to understand what level members are working at. This will help inform counter proposals to make sure members achieve the grade they deserve in the review.

We hosted workshops with members to create proposals. This helped us outline what Pupil Support Assistants and School Support Assistants want to see in the review.

Themes

Our conversations with workers saw several issues come up again and again:

  • lack of non-contact time
  • lack of training
  • working unpaid hours
  • poor communication
  • working outwith the job description
  • working beyond the grade
  • facing violence and challenging behaviour
  • lack of career progression
  • inappropriate line manager
  • lack of recognition of the work and knowledge.

Pupil Support Assistants

The goal is to modernise the job for PSAs.

Members felt that the job description is too vague and does not reflect all the work and knowledge that PSAs have. It also does not reflect what is needed in a modern school, where workers face more challenging behaviour and deal with pupils with a greater range of support needs than ever.

PSAs highlighted safety concerns. PSAs are being provided too much information to take in during the time available. PSAs are not being told important information regarding abuse or trauma, which could result in triggering students.

School Support Assistants

The goal is to define the job for SSAs.

We spoke to a lot of SSAs and few seemed to do the same job! Often SSAs within the same school will do significantly different tasks. SSAs in one high school commented that if one of them was off neither of the other two could cover their role.

The tasks covered by SSAs seem to suggest three distinct roles:

  • clerical
  • classroom technician
  • pupil welfare and medical.

Unite members believe that SSAs should be removed from the current review, to have their roles considered alongside clerical workers and technicians.

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