For some time, Hampshire UNISON has been raising the subject of challenging and often violent behaviour towards school support staff across the county. A branch-wide survey was undertaken in 2017 which discovered that violent behaviour and challenging behaviour in schools was on the rise. School support staff work in incredibly challenging conditions, many of them on a one to one basis with children who display challenging behaviours. Whilst many have received training in how to manage this, some had not, or felt they needed more support.
UNISON member learning team, together with new Union Learning Reps, Natalia Byer and Denise Neveu, worked together to plan and organise a one day CPD workshop for members working in schools, Managing Challenging Behaviour, which was delivered by the Open University at a community centre in Gosport in February.
The course was made possible with the support of the Union Learning Fund, a government-backed scheme to enable unions to deliver workplace learning to adults in work, in times where training budgets are being slashed.
Members came from a number of schools in the Solent area, most of them didn’t know each other, and they all found it very valuable to be able to share experiences with people from other schools. Some of the attendees are now interested in UNISON’s other courses, and maybe even becoming a Union Learning Rep themselves!
This was the first course that Denise had been involved with.
“It was very humbling to meet some of the Teaching Assistants who take care of pupils and students with behavioural challenges. The day was packed with information, with lots of opportunities for TAs to share knowledge and experience.
I am happy that UNISON is able to deliver these courses, as I feel they will really help with the day to day running of all the schools represented, and impact on the health of both pupils and TAs – it would be a massive success to deliver the course again to spread this knowledge!”
UNISON has a national arrangement with the Open University to deliver this and other workshops, in the places where they are needed the most. For school support staff, we can also offer Autism Awareness, Mental Health Awareness and for members working in social care, we can offer Dementia Awareness.
If you would be interested in attending any of these courses, please contact the regional member learning team on firstname.lastname@example.org
Courses are subject to a minimum number of attendees. You will need to secure the time off work to attend, but many employers view Open University CPD courses as a valuable addition to your training and development. You will receive a certificate from the Open University and your UNISON training record will also be updated with any courses you do with us.