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Support staff: 101 reasons why

For Support Staff Day 2017, we asked the community to send in 101 reasons why support staff are so important to their schools and centres. We were absolutely inundated with responses!

Helen from Hawera

We need better funding for support staff as they are grossly underpaid for the time and effort that they put in. With more funding we are able to employ support staff to work with individual students and to assist with tasks that take a teachers attention away from educating the students.

Library Assistant from Mangakino

Help support staff to help the teachers and students by giving them realistic funding to help them keep doing just that.

Robert Edwards, Andrea Wishnowsky, Dianne Jordan and Iain Lees Galloway (MP)

From Iain Lees Galloway (MP): I’m a Labour Party M.P. and I think that we need better funding for support staff because every child deserves a world-class education!

Teacher Aide from Chisnallwood Intermediate

We support staff and children’s learning.

Teacher Aide and Teacher from Chisnallwood Intermediate

They deserve job security. They help at risk children function in a mainstream environment.

Library Manager from Chisnallwood Intermediate

We need realistic funding from the government.

Christine from Chisnallwood Intermediate

We need a fair deal!

Islay from Chisnallwood Intermediate

Our children deserve the best!

Staff of Lincoln Heights School

Lincoln Heights School teaching community stands behind NZEI’s negotiations for better funding for our support staff. Our students deserve more. Teachers deserve and need the support provided in our busy classrooms. Support staff deserve an increase in their hourly wages. New Zealand Educators are teachers and support staff together as teams we are making a difference for the future. We vote give the support team more pay now. They are value for money.

Librarian – Sth Auckland

They work above and beyond within schools.

Josh and Trish form Greenpark School, Tga

they are a valuable part of the classroom for learning and support.
they help students engage in learning.
they deserve more.
their job is an emotionally and physically demanding.

Estelle Henrys, Suz Bassett, and Lynne Blumshohn

Estelle – Teacher Aide Librarian : because Teacher Aides cannot be paid according to their salary band
Suz Bassett – Office Manager : because Support Staff are not paid in the holidays
Lynne Blumsohn – Teacher Aide : because I want to be valued for what I do. I get paid less than my son who washes dishes at a restaurant.

Display for parents to read and sign petition

Student – Sam Henry and Teacher Aide Lynne Blumsohn

Student – they help me with my eating and drinking. They keep me safe.

LIncoln Heights School Staff Support PINK DAY.

Our Support Staff are multi talented, hardworking and under paid for the important job of helping to build a love for learning. They keep the spark alive for those who find learning a challenge. They believe anything is possible if you keep the faith. It is time they were rewarded for their loyal service to the MOE and the children who they support.

Mary Auta

Our special needs students would not get a fair deal

Staff from Auckland

Without our support staff, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do for our children.

Clara – Teacher Wainuiomata

To ensure our children and teachers are supported.

Teacher from Gisborne

because our tamariki deserve to work with staff who feel values as professionals.

Neil McDonald

To ensure our children and teachers are supported.

Views of staff, parents and children of Palmerston North

Without Teacher Aides, teachers would not be able to do the work they currently do in class with support, so children will miss out.

Community of Central Normal School, teachers, students, whānau, principal, support staff

“Teacher aides help us achieve our dreams” ~ group of yr 4/5 students

“In case kids get angry” ~ group of yr 5/6 students
“So they can help us learn more” ~ group of yr 5/6 students

“Teacher aide work is very challenging, both emotionally and physically. These kids through no fault of their own are the most vulnerable in our society. We need to retain the skilled and experienced people and reward accordingly.” ~ Parent/Lecturer

“They are such hard workers. They are the glue that helps hold our school together. #legends” ~ Teacher

“We have so many children who need support (not just ORS). We need support for our behaviourally challenging children so ALL our children can learn” ~ Principal

Adam from Wairau Intermediate

Because of the massive amount of work they do!

Judy from Wairau Intermediate

They’re not paid adequately for the work they do!

Emma and Bev at Wairau Intermediate

They are an integral part of our school system without whom the school would falter and the students would suffer


Special Needs Support Staff are CRUCIAL:
Administer personal care
Recognise medical difficulties
Work as team to support students in meeting their needs
Integral part of student access to the curriculum and students’ success
Enable classroom to move smoothly
Know students and have their trust


$upport $taff at all work sites deserve a $quare Deal!
When the MOE increases Mainstream $upport $taff allocations and/or $alaries, then MOE needs to increase $pecial Needs $upport $taff $alaries via ORS Funding!


Being paid fairly = receiving a liveable wage
We are people too!!!
We have bills, mortgages and responsibilities just like you!

Nicole Davidson

Can you imagine Special Needs classrooms and its students with less Support Staff?
How will students’ physical needs get met?
How will students receive enough support to access the curriculum?
Who will help students with their coping and behaviour management?
Who will help teachers with the running of specialised programmes?

Jacque from Levin

Support Staff are integral to the efficient and maintenance of the school system in general. S/S work closely with the most challenging of students,Teaching support and staff should be employed in the same basis as teachers. They do not have guaranteed hours. Get Real and help S/S get a better deal

Mrs Masina (TA), RRS

Mrs Niu Masina our TA is the best and she deserves way more that she’s getting because she’s worth it.


Tanya a teacher from Levin
Support Staff enable all children more opportunities to reach their potential by providing skilled emotional support and energy to both their child and the teacher as well as the rest of the class

Angela from Wilson School

Skilled Speciality
United Trained
Personal Care Adaptive
Perceptive Facilitative
Organised Familiarised

Mrs Niu Masina, our TA and Room 14 students

Mrs Niu Masina has contributed a lot for the the classroom teacher, the Syndicate, the school and particularly the students’ learning. She’s worth way more than what she’s getting. She reserves it.!!!!

Margaret at Wairau

They are a very important cog in the wheel of the smooth functioning of the school!

Jules from Christchurch

Supporting support staff to better support teachers and learners.

June Morton

To ensure safety for one and all, Special Schools need enough Support Staff that needs to be funded adequately through ORS.

Parent, Waikato

because with more support staff children can reach their full potential

Kindergarten Teacher

because schools and Early Childhood Centres cannot run without these wonderful people. Many support Staff go well above and beyond their duty to fulfill their roles. Our special needs tamariki are already being lost in mainstream. Their needs cannot be met by 1:10 ratios. we need extra Support Staff.

Wainuiomata High School Mural

Jenny from Christchurch

Supporting support staff to better support teachers and learners.