Survey of support staff reveals the effect of cutbacks in UK schools

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27th September 2018 12:56 - Education

Survey of support staff reveals the effect of cutbacks in UK schools: A survey of school support staff has revealed the effects of cuts, stress and restructuring in UK schools. 
 
According to the latest research by public service union, UNISON, cuts to funding are having ‘a devastating effect’ on workloads and morale. 
 
The survey, which informed the union's Lessons in Austerity report, polled 12,120 support staff including teaching assistants, office personnel, technicians and caterers and found almost nine in ten said they could see the effects that cuts were having in their schools. 
 
Looking back over the past five years, over four out of five of those polled (83 percent) said they had experienced stress or felt overwhelmed by increased workloads. For one in five (20 percent), this has resulted in them having to take time off from work as a result. 
 
When it came to demands being made of them and workloads, more than 70 percent revealed they were undertaking tasks that should be carried out by a more senior staff member, and just over a third (35 percent) said they had received no additional training to perform certain additional duties. 
 
Restructuring and the effects of it were also highlighted by the survey with 76 percent saying their school had been through the process, or that it was in the pipeline. For 38 percent of respondents, there had been more than one restructure in the last five years. 
 
Jon Richards, the head of education for UNISON said: “School support staff who haven’t already lost their jobs are buckling under intolerable workloads and mounting stress levels.
 
“They play a vital role in keeping children safe and schools running smoothly, they shouldn’t be seen as surplus to requirements when money is tight.”
 
You can download the UNISON Lessons in Austerity report here


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