UNSUNG heroes doing incredible work behind the scenes to support schools across Wales will be honoured on Friday (November 26) with the annual UNISON Cymru/ Wales Stars in Our Schools event.

Throughout the pandemic, which has affected so many people, hard-working staff from cooks and cleaners to caretakers and teaching assistants have been diligently doing what they can to make our schools a safe and supportive environment for children and staff.

Stars in Our Schools is a fantastic opportunity to recognise the work of support staff in all our schools and highlight the invaluable role they play in the wider education team.

Senior teaching assistant Jan Murray has been working for Cwm Glas Primary School in Swansea for 20 years and said: “I love working in school because supporting children in their learning and helping navigate their way through their education is the most rewarding job imaginable.

“Throughout the pandemic teaching assistants have continued to support the children who need us most. I’m proud to belong to such an integral part of our National School Workforce.”

Rosie Lewis, UNISON Cymru/ Wales lead officer for school support staff, said: “Today is about celebrating the fantastic work support staff across Wales do every day, especially after what has been such an unprecedented year and the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has presented.

“Everyone from receptionists and teaching assistants to cooks, cleaners and caretakers performs a vital role in the wider education team and Stars in Our Schools is our chance to honour them and say thank you for their tireless efforts.

“School support staff are the backbone of every school and it is right they are given the recognition they deserve.”