Stars in Our Schools – 23 November

Published October 3, 2018 at 12:50

Stars in Our Schools is a celebration of school support staff. UNISON has organised the day to celebrate the wonderful work they do every day and to make sure the world knows just how vital they are to children’s education.

On Friday 23 November 2018 schools across the UK will be holding ceremonies, putting on special assemblies and even dressing up as super heroes.

 School support staff – the Stars in Our Schools

It takes a whole team to make a school a safe and happy place for children to learn.

School support staff help children learn, keep children safe and healthy and make sure schools run smoothly. They are the caterers, the admin staff, the finance officers, the teaching assistants, the librarians, the ICT technicians, the parent support advisers, and more.

 School support staff – the unsung heroes

School support staff are vital to the effective running of a school, but this is not often recognised as theyare usually tucked away behind the scenes. They are the unsung heroes of our children’s education.

 Let’s celebrate school support staff

Schools will be holding award ceremonies, special assemblies and tea parties in schools across the UK to say thank you to support staff for all they do.

 An event for staff, children and families

This is for everyone to get involved in: parents, carers, grand-parents, teachers and head teachers, as well as the support staff themselves.

Get involved in Stars in Our Schools

Want to get involved? Here’s what some schools are doing, and yours could too:

 Nominating a Star for a prize

Is there a star in your school who deserves recognition? If so, nominate them and you could both win £25 M&S vouchers. Visit for more details.

Giving children an opportunity to get to know school support staff better

  • Invite all support staff to join the children for a special lunch – include cleaners, ground staff and other ‘hidden’ staff.
  • Make time for kitchen and lunch staff to join the children and talk about the food they eat and why it matters.
  • Hold a quiz for children about what school support staff do.
  • Get children to help support staff for a day – keeping the playground clean, helping to set the lunch tables, older children helping younger ones with reading, painting, or writing.

Making a big fuss of school support staff

  • Ask pupils to nominate the best member of the support staff and have an awards ceremony or special assembly to announce the winners.
  • Ask classroom staff to run a competition along the theme “How do our support staff make our school better?”. This could be art, poetry, dance, singing or anything else you can think of.
  • Ask children to write a story or poem about the different support staff.
  • Ask parents to come into school for a special ceremony or assembly where support staff are honoured. Parents could bake a celebratory cake.
  • Hold a “coffee morning” for all support staff.
  • Make support staff VIPs for the day.

 Making sure everyone knows how important school support staff are 

  • Take a photo of all the support staff and put it on a noticeboard so that all children and parents can see.
  • Contact your Parent Teacher Association and ask them to get involved. Invite them to the school’s celebration.
  • Write to your local newspaper to let them know you’re celebrating support staff on 23 November 2018.
  • Contact your governors and ask them to get involved. Invite them to the school’s celebration.
  • Invite your MP and local councillor to your special event so they can see how important school support staff are.
  • Have heads and teachers shadow support staff for a day, or even invite your MP and councillors to shadow them!

 Just for fun

  • Hold a face painting competition
  • Ask pupils and staff to dress up as super heroes for the day
  • Hold a ‘Stars in your eyes’ competition

If you need any help organising an event please get in touch with the Branch office.


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