Following the 2001 McCrone review of teachers' pay and conditions one very important outcome was the hiring of additional staff to support classroom teachers. This group of staff take on a range of tasks including: photocopying, banking, filing, typing etc. At a time of unprecedented curricular change in schools, these staff are crucial in freeing up teachers so they can focus their energies on tasks directly related to children's learning.
As I continue to settle into my new post at Jghs, one of the many challenges I face is to learn about what goes on behind the scenes. One example of this is the work undertaken by our classroom assistants. This morning I had the opportunity to meet with our team of classroom assistants in order to learn about what they contribute to the school and to get their views on what might change as, for example, we prepare for the building of our new school. What struck me again today, as has been the case with others i've met across the school, is how highly everyone thinks of the school. Pupils and staff are really proud of our school and work hard to ensure that high standards are maintained. I am really keen to build on this excellent teamwork as there will be many challenges for us in the weeks and months ahead.