Nottingham City Schools

pproximately 1000 members within the Branch are employed in schools across Nottingham City. The majority of these members are employed as Teaching Assistants, Admin staff, caretakers etc, who carry out support roles within schools.

School Support Staff – Why You Should Join UNISON

Members join UNISON because we are the biggest and the best. If you have a problem at work, and are a member of UNISON you will be supported by an experienced, trained representative. Our Branch Officers and Stewards endeavour to attend every meeting where terms and conditions are negotiated, where Health & Safety is on the agenda and when redundancies or restructures are planned. Because of their knowledge and the ability of the Branch to organise and represent members the employers listen to Nottingham City UNISON.  But we're not just here to help resolve problems at work, you can use your union to do more - read more on the Value UNISON Membership

Please visit UNISON's National Website for School Support Staff for the latest news.

Schools and early years members' meeting - 27 January 2021

Following last nights all members online event it might be useful to share a few of the answers provided to members who asked questions at the event. The links below may prove useful to anyone who didn't attend and for anyone not aware of the available information, model letters etc.

The issue in respect of all schools re-opening fully on 8th March was addressed briefly and it was confirmed that a position and policy on this was yet to be confirmed given the announcement on this was only yesterday. Jon Richards is meeting with relevant ministers today and then the Schools Committee will be considering the position and policy over the coming weeks. They are likely to be looking at a range of measures that must be achieved to make this safe.

National Officers wanted to make it clear that they are doing their upmost to make this about everyone's safety. The entire education workforce must be a priority.

Employers have a legal obligation to carry out a risk assessment for schools. We have also been calling for schools to do an individual risk assessment for any member of staff who requests one. We have just published a joint union guide to risk assessment and a model which you can find in the resources section of our website: 

Vulnerable staff If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should work from home or stay at home on full pay where you cannot work from home. We believe that working from home is also the safest option for vulnerable staff. You can find more information and a model letter for members to use on our website: 

Early years are open to all children at the moment, but we believe that they should close in the same way as primary schools. We continue to urge the Government to change their position on keeping early years settings open. You can find out more in our guidance for early years: 

All early year’s settings need to review their risk assessments and minimise the size of their bubbles. You can find out more in our guidance for early years: 

Early years settings should reassess individual risk assessments for vulnerable staff and allow home working where possible. You can find out more in our guidance for early years: 

Early years staff should be a priority for the vaccine, and we are calling on the government to do this. Early years staff can be put on furlough if they meet the qualifying criteria. 

Since our last meeting we have produced a model escalation procedure for serious and health and safety issues which you may find helpful - see link and please liaise with your branch 

We are calling on special schools to revisit and improve their previous risk assessments for the whole school, as well as individual assessments for vulnerable staff and for individual children/young people. More details are in our briefing: 

Helping pupils to administer a lateral flow test is voluntary. If your contract states member has responsibility for administering medicines then you should get full training and only take on testing tasks once fully competent to do so. Find out more in our special schools briefing: 

UNISON provides a lot of details about your rights at work during COVID. You can find out more here: .

UNISON also provides detailed guidance for school staff here: .

 Stars in our Schools - 27 November 2020

It's been one hell of a year in schools and all the heroes that work in schools have stepped up once again, with their incredible efforts to keep schools running in the most difficult circumstances. Despite outbreaks, staff absences, isolation, and your own household situation, staff have pulled out all the stops to deliver quality education and a safe environment for pupils. In November, UNISON celebrated our schools "unsung/clapped heroes" with an event called Stars in Our Schools. This is a national event from UNISON which is held in schools by the members to celebrate the roles they carry out in supporting teaching and learning. UNISON Star in School certificates were handed out to support staff. Here you can see some staff at Rosehill School being acknowledged for the hard work they do.If you want to take part in the celebration next year just contact me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Rosehill 1                           Rosehill 2   

 Rosehill 3






Skills for Schools

UNISON's Skills for Schools website is a valuable on-line guide to careers and training and development for support staff in schools.

Schools Newsletter

pdfUNISON Schools Newsletter Spring 2019

Stars in our Schools - 23 November 2018

This week, we are celebrating our schools "unsung heroes" with an event called Stars in Our Schools. This is a national event from UNISON which is held in schools by the members to celebrate the roles that they carry out in supporting teaching and learning in the places they work. The first picture shows Carol Barker the Head of the Woodlands School handing out UNISON certificates to support staff. Woodlands School is a vibrant and energetic school and she acknowledged the hard work and dedication of all the support staff within the school.

Stars in Schools 3         Stars in Schools 2        Stars in Schools 1

Transform Trust Training Day - 5 October 2018

Schools Recruitment


 The picture was taken at the Albert Hall at a UNISON recruitment stall at the training day for Transform Trust schools.


 The Transform Trust members really enjoyed the UNISON stand at the Trust's inset day at the Albert Hall in Nottingham. New members found out that UNISON membership subs depend on how much people earn and can be as little as £1.30 a month which is such good value. Lots of the members have taken up the opportunity of the free courses that are on offer from the Nottinghamshire branches.



Stars in our Schools - 24 November 2017

This month sees us celebrate the often-unsung Stars in Our Schools on 24 November. And as part of that, we're using a Thunderclap – co-ordinated tweets across Twitter from as many people as possible – to let everyone know about UNISON's day of celebration for school support staff.

The Thunderclap, at noon on the day, will help us rally together and share a united message at the same time on social media.

Let's show our fantastic school support staff members and their colleagues that UNISON is right behind them, proud to support and celebrate their invaluable work.

Please support us on Facebook,Twitter and Tumblr by joining our Thunderclap now and sharing it: the address is

Nominate a Star and win a prize

This is your chance to let a member of school support staff know how much you value the fantastic work they do. Anyone can nominate a school support staff worker for entry into a prize draw to win a
£25 Marks and Spencer voucher. And if your nominee wins, you'll receive a £25 Marks and Spencer voucher too!  UNISON's Stars in Our Schools prize draw is all about recognising the wonderful contribution of school support staff who work so hard to keep schools running smoothly, help children learn and keep everybody safe and healthy. One 'Star' winner will be drawn from each of the 12 regions across the UK, so there will be vouchers for the 12 Stars and their nominators, making 24 prizes in total. Fill out the form below to let us know who you are nominating and why they are a Star! Entries close on 30 November 2017.

Please see the attached Newsletter for further information on Stars in our Schools.

pdfStars in our Schools Newsletter 2017

UNISON Newsletter for Schools Staff

pdfAutumn 2017

Local Authority Single Status Teaching Assistants Job Descriptions

pdfTeaching Assistant Level 1 Job Description
pdfTeaching Assistant Level 2 Job Description
pdfTeaching Assistant Level 3 Job Description
pdfTeaching Assistant Level 4 JobDescription

Local Authority Single Status Head Teachers Guidance

pdfLA Single Status Head Teachers Guidance

 Youth Mental Health First Aid Programme (England)

Please find below details of a new government initiative related to training around mental health awareness in schools. In particular:

In January 2017 Prime Minister Theresa May committed to provide Youth MHFA training to at least one member of staff in every state secondary school in the country over the next three years. Following this announcement, the Youth MHFA in Schools programme was launched in April 2017. The programme is funded by the Department of Health and is run by organisation, MHFA England, a community interest company (CIC).

In the first year of the programme 100 Youth MHFA One Day Courses will be delivered, which equates to over 1,000 places available. A similar number of courses will be delivered in years two and three of the programme.

Youth Mental Health First Aid programme

The training, delivered by community interest company Mental Health First Aid England, aims to teach staff how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis.

We know that staff up and down the country are providing extraordinary pastoral care and support for their pupils, and many are well-practised at handling the sensitivities and hardships that arise during childhood and adolescence – through this training, we hope to give staff the further confidence and practical tips to address mental health issues in young people that staff have asked for.

Evaluations of Mental Health First Aid training have shown positive results, and Mental Health First Aid England provides examples of case studies of schools which have reported positive results following the training:

For more information, please visit the MHFA website, where you can find details of how to access a place on the schools programme. Further FAQs are below.

What is MHFA/Youth MHFA/the course about?
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally recognised training course, designed to teach people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis. Youth MHFA is a version of this course tailored towards supporting young people experiencing a mental health issue.

The Youth MHFA One Day course that school staff are undertaking as part of the Youth MHFA in Schools programme has been designed specifically with schools and colleges in mind and includes a mix of presentations, group discussions and
workshop activities. Topics covered include:
An introduction to mental health
Depression and anxiety
Suicide and psychosis
Self-harm and eating disorders
The core skills the course teaches are how to listen non-judgementally, be sensitive to signs and triggers of mental ill-health and to respect a young person's unique frame of reference.

What are the aims of Youth MHFA?
Youth MFHA aims to:
Preserve life where a young person may be a danger to themselves or others
Intervene to prevent the emotional or mental health issue developing into a more serious state
Provide comfort to a young person experiencing a mental health issue
Empower a young person to access appropriate professional help
Promote the recovery of good mental health
Raise awareness of mental health issues in the community
Reduce stigma and discrimination

What is the Youth MHFA in Schools programme?
In January 2017 Prime Minister Theresa May committed to provide Youth MHFA training to at least one member of staff in every state secondary school in the country over the next three years. Following this announcement, the Youth MHFA in Schools programme was launched in April 2017. The programme is funded by the Department of Health and is run by organisation, MHFA England, a community interest company (CIC).

In the first year of the programme 100 Youth MHFA One Day Courses will be delivered, which equates to over 1,000 places available. A similar number of courses will be delivered in years two and three of the programme.

How are courses set up as part of this programme?
One member of school staff from each state secondary school is offered the opportunity to attend a course, with the exception of host schools who are offered four additional places. Up to 16 delegates can attend a course.

How will this training benefit school staff?
Many school staff are already dealing with situations where they are required to support young people experiencing mental health issues. Youth MHFA training will equip staff with the knowledge, skills and confidence to assist young people experiencing mental health issues on a first aid basis, reducing the pressures associated with managing these situations without adequate training.

MHFA courses also teach people the importance of personal wellbeing and how to look after their own mental health or support others to do the same. In this way, training school staff in MHFA has the potential to improve the wellbeing not just of the individual trained but of other staff in the school as well.

How will this programme benefit schools as a whole?
The Youth MHFA in Schools programme has a role to play in helping to improve approaches to wellbeing in the education sector. Evidence suggests the most effective long term way to improve mental health is to adopt a 'whole organisation approach' where all parts of the organisation and its community are encouraged to work together in their commitment to wellbeing. Youth MHFA can help those trained to take on a role as a champion and to advocate for their schools to adopt a 'whole school' approach to wellbeing.

How will this training benefit young people?
Around one in 10 children have a diagnosable mental health issue – roughly three children in every classroom – so upskilling frontline school staff to be able to support these children is crucial. Youth MHFA ultimately promotes early intervention which enables recovery, meaning that this training can ensure young people are better able to get the support they need when experiencing mental health issues.

National Schools Newsletter Spring 2017

pdfNational Schools Newsletter Spring 2017

School Members' Newsletter - posted 4 October 2016

Attached is the latest schools' newsletter. pdfSchool Newsletter Sept 2016

Please take the time to complete the Survey on Workload, Stress and Violence in Schools.

The quickest way to do this is by completing the survey on line at:

Alternatively,you can complete the form on the back page of the newsletter and return to David Wand at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or post to the Branch Office at Loxley House, Station Street, Nottingham, NG2 3NG.


Launch of UNISON supported 'Reading Ahead' Challenge at Farnborough Academy, Clifton - posted 29 September 2016

Reading-Ahead-Challenge-at-Farnborough-Acadmy 2On 23 September 2016 the 'Reading Ahead' Challenge was launched at Farnborough Academy.  26 staff (support and teaching) took part with hopefully more to follow.  A Christmas event is planned to see how people are progressing and to share a mince pie.

The photo shows from left to right Brian Crosby (UNISON Area Organiser), Toni Slee (School Librarian), member Vanessa Goddard and Head Teacher Ben Chaloner.


Advice on NUT Industrial Action - 5 July 2016

Please see attached advice to School Support Staff on the NUT Industrial Action that is planned for Tuesday 5 July 2016 pdfAdvice to School Members re NUT strike 5 July 2016

Stars in our Schools 2016 - date for your diary

This year's 'Stars in our Schools' UK-wide celebration day for school support staff will be on Friday 25 November 2016.

Snape Wood Primary & Nursery staff celebrate "Stars in Our Schools 2015" with social get together - posted 2 December 2015

Teaching Assistants from Snape Wood Primary & Nursery school in Bulwell (see picture) took time out of busy lives at the end of Wednesday 25 November to meet up and celebrate Stars in Our Schools. Organised by UNISON steward, Gemma Wheat, staff had chance for a tea and coffee and some pre-Christmas treats which they shared with teaching staff and even a retired Governor who was visiting the school. Brian Crosby, UNISON Area Organiser, called in to support Gemma and thank staff for the work they do to support the whole school team. Gemma presented UNISON 'Certificates of Achievement' as well as provided the camera to take this shot. The visiting Governor thanked staff by adding that she strongly believed it was the way support staff understood of needs of local children that makes the difference at Snape Wood. UNISON thanks Gemma for organising this first event at Snape Wood. Well done to all who took part. Let's hope this fantastic experience will inspire other schools to take part next year and beyond.


UNISON supports Stars in Our Schools and gets to visit new library at Milford Academy - posted 2 December 2015

UNISON was invited to work with Milford Academy in November 2015 to run a very successful 'Stars in our Schools' event to celebrate the brilliant work of support staff at this school. We are grateful to Dom Magner, Head Teacher, and his team for their efforts. A special assembly heard words of thanks from the Head, and many children had written down why they loved their Teaching Assistant, with some responses being read out to great applause. Staff were awarded Stars in our Schools "Certificates of achievement" from the Head and UNISON's Brian Crosby, with a free lunch meal voucher paid for by the school as further thanks. Pupils also gave a very loud shout of "thank you" to the kitchen staff working next door. Lilian Greenwood MP also attended the assembly as she was officially opening the new library facilities the same day. Pictured is Brian Crosby, UNISON Area Organiser, handing over treats of cakes and biscuits to the school Achievement Manager, Louis Butler. Well done Milford for supporting "Stars in our Schools" in 2015 and involving all support staff.

 Schools Business Manager Awards - posted 3 September 2015

UNISON is supporting the National School Business Management Awards 2015. The awards focus on the achievements of school business managers and are open to those working in all primary, secondary and special schools in the UK. School business managers can nominate themselves or you can nominate others. There are eight categories to choose and UNISON is sponsoring the award for 'Leading support services'. The deadline for entering is 5pm on Wednesday 30 September 2015. Find out more information and how to submit nominations at;,21BX,DP4FG,5QPP,1

Please pass this onto any of your colleagues who may be interested and encourage them to put forward nominations.

News -  posted 1st April 2015

Here is the link to the National UNISON Schools newsletter for March 2015 and other info including the Stars in Our Schools info and date for next year. As the largest education union in the UK we want to ensure that you are updated on our work in schools. Please feel free to pass the link on to your work colleagues, whether they are members or are interested in joining.


Download a copy of the new 'UNISON in Schools' newsletter - Spring Newsletter

Stars in our Schools 2015 – date for your diary

This year's 'Stars in our Schools' UK-wide celebration day for school support staff will be on Friday 27 November. You can read about last year's celebration day in the newsletter: Spring Newsletter

Learn in UNISON – UNISON school support staff survey

UNISON recognises the importance of keeping up to date with training, development and learning. UNISON wants to secure learning opportunities for all education support workers interested in developing their learning. This short survey aims to gather
information on the different types of development and learning opportunities that you would be interested in undertaking. See UNISON's Learn in UNISON School Support Staff Survey here

Skills for Schools

UNISON has launched a new website for school support staff:

The website is the place to go for information on a wide range of roles available in schools, options for training and career development, and links to useful resources. For those already working in a school, there's a career planner which allows users
to input their current role, qualifications and skills. The planner suggests alternative roles and potential qualifications to support the journey.

UNISON survey of School Support Staff 2014

Many thanks to everyone who took part in UNISON's biggest ever survey of school support staff, which gained coverage in the national press. You can read the about the survey results here and access the full report: UNISON Survey of School Support Staff

The All New Skills for Schools Website - posted 13 March 2015

The all new Skills for Schools website is an online guide to careers, training and development in schools and was relaunched in 2014. The website is owned and managed by UNISON for you to get information on most school roles, with advice about training and career development. In addition, there is news on changes in the education sector. Go to

Stars in our Schools - posted 2 December 2014

Stars in our Schools is an annual UNISON initiative, celebrating the work of all school support staff. UNISON has helped members and schools to organise events to honour the wonderful work school support staff do every day, and to make sure the wider public and politicians are reminded of the vital roles they play alongside teachers to support children's education.

UNISON helped Bulwell St Mary's Primary School to present this positive event held on 28 November 2014. The school held a whole school assembly using a PowerPoint presentation with photos, which showcased the hard work of support staff this year. The local press came to take photos of the certificates of achievement being awarded to kitchen, admin, site and classroom staff team members. Children had also designed "thank you" cards for the work support staff had done.

Nottingham City UNISON would like to thank Head Teacher Daniel Farthing and his team for backing this day of celebration and hope that next year's celebration will be as successful. If your school wants to take part next year, please give us a call on 0115 8762441 and we will be happy to chat with you.


UNISON Schools' Update - posted 4 November 2014

The attached update aims to provide UNISON members and oranisers with a brief summary of the latest trade union news in schools.  Please note the links in the attachment will not automatically work, so they will need to be copied and pasted.       pdfUNISON Schools Update Nov 2014

Biggest ever survey of school support staff - posted 30 September 2014

UNISON is carrying out the biggest ever survey of school support staff, including both UNISON members and non-members. The survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete online and can be completed anonymously. Please pass the survey onto your contacts at schools and encourage them to have their say.The address is

Stars in our Schools - posted 30 September 2014

Once again UNISON is celebrating the Stars in our schools on 28 November.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 28 November 2014 Schools across the UK will be holding awards ceremonies, putting on special assemblies and even dressing up as super heroes see the web site. Click here to see full details of what you can take part in.

UNISON Schools Update - July 2013

The attached update aims to provide UNISON members with a brief summary of the latest trade union news in schools

pdfUNISON Schools Update

Performance Pay in Schools (England)

The government is implementing a system of performance-related pay progression for teachers in England.  Members and school reps need to watch out for their local schools trying to implement the same system for support staff.  Read more here:

pdfPerformance Pay in Schools 














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