GMB Welcomes Report On Schools Support Staff

31 Mar 2010

The report concludes:

-that increasing the number of teaching assistant is strongly associated with improved student attainment. It shows that schools that have fewer TAs do less well than schools that have a high density of teaching assistants. In short, the larger the number of teaching assistants in a school the more possibility there is of improved student attainment.

-the results suggest that greater expenditure on teaching assistants, more than additional expenditure on any other type of associate staff, is associated with gains in student attainment.

GMB said that there were further benefits beyond educational attainment that were not included in the report. Brian Strutton GMB National Secretary for Public Services said “Thanks to the vision of the Labour government whose investment in schools has led to a doubling of the real spend per pupil we have seen a significant increase in the number of support staff in schools and a sea-change in their roles.

No longer a ‘mum’s army’ of volunteer helpers, today’s support staff are just as much part of the professional school workforce as teachers and heads. So it’s no surprise that this new report shows that support staff have a direct and positive effect on improving educational attainment and GMB strongly agrees with the conclusion that the investment in school support staff represents good value for money.

Indeed although outside the scope of this report the full extent of the beneficial effects of school support staff go much further including improving children’s behaviour, diet, health and well-being,  and supporting the inclusion of children with special needs – all just as important as academic improvement. What’s more, as the report highlights, most schools have yet to realise the full potential of their support staff so we can expect these improving trends to continue.

GMB members who work in schools are vital front-line professionals who are proud to be formally recognised for their essential contribution to our children’s education and well-being.”