SUPPORT staff at a Whitefield college have been praised as part of a nationwide celebration of the invaluable contribution they make to the education of pupils.

Staff at Elms Bank Specialist Arts College were recognised on Friday, November 27, during public service union UNISON's Stars in Our Schools event.

The college, in Ripon Avenue, organised events including providing support staff with an additional break under a ‘Bank a Brew’ scheme, and a special assembly to mark the fundamental role that support staff play within their school setting.

Elaine Parkinson, headteacher of Elms Bank Specialist Arts College, said: “It’s brilliant to be able to have an event like this. We could not be successful at Elms Bank without our highly professional team of support staff.

"They contribute to every aspect of our school day and I am continually impressed by their dedication, hard work, their strong focus on teaching and learning and most of all their outstanding care for our most vulnerable students. Well done and congratulations to all of them.”

UNISON Bury Assistant Branch Secretary, Roger Pakeman, added: "This annual UK-wide celebration day is a great opportunity for pupils, parents and teachers to promote the work of their support staff and thank them for their outstanding contribution.

"School support staff are so often the unsung heroes in our schools and play an integral part of the education of young people. Their roles are incredibly diverse, from cooks, cleaners and caretakers to family support advisers, examinations staff and school business managers. They play a vital role in every aspect of school life and without them schools could not run."