Midlands support staff members of the National Education Union (NEU) were treated to a full day of learning in Solihull last October.
The packed agenda for the Midlands support staff workshop kicked off with a session on theory and practical ways of using interventions in maths and English of Understanding and supporting Learning.
Imogen Weeks, NEU Union Learning Fund (ULF) event coordinator, followed this session and spoke about union learning and how the ULF provides support for maths, English and IT training. The session was then handed over to participants who put forward some great ideas for future learning, which will help the union shape next year regional CPD offer to members.
Following a very well received lunch Peter Morris, national officer for support staff, gave an overview of the NEU and the issues faced by support staff, including workload, pay and the importance of being in a union.
Ending the day was behaviour management trainer, Lisa Miller, delivering a session giving tools and techniques to help support staff manage behaviour before it becomes an issue.
The day proved very popular and the feedback was extremely positive. One delegate said:
Both morning and afternoon sessions were well presented with lots of appropriate approaches to today’s educational needs covered along with recommendations for further reading.”
Another agreed and said the day had:
Excellent advice on the use of the voice and behaviour. Also lots of information was given… or places where I could find more information.”
Imogen explained the background to the events.
The NEU ULF project has been focusing on developing a series of small regional conferences for support staff members. NEU research has shown that support staff are often disadvantaged compared to other staff accessing CPD and learning opportunities.”
The ULF project aims to address this by developing these sessions to cover areas of English, Maths, ICT and CPD which underpin the requirements of the support staff role (particularly those who work in the classroom).”
The NEU project plans to hold at least one conference in the unions nine regional areas.