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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!

Westmere School Teacher Aide

“the amount of time we invest in our children now will give them better learning outcomes in the future”

Westmere School Teacher's Helper

“without funds our little loved one wont be able to receive the amount of the learning support they need which is sad”

Westmere School Parent and Active Community Member

“all children learn at different speeds and in different directions and require time and energy to help them on their individual paths”

Westmere School Office Worker

“The wages that we earn do not reflect the job demands.”

Teacher from Waikoikoi

Some children need extra support to learn the foundation skills. eg:- letter sounds, recording letter sounds.

Westmere School Father and T/A

“without it the teachers are unable to teach the class as a whole or have time to focus on individual needs and issues”

Carmen from Oamaru

We have to have lots of skills and be able to turn our hands and minds to lots of different skills and activities. We area valuable resource!

Teacher from North Canterbury

They are an essential and valuable resource and they play a crucial role in the learning of all our students, especially our priority learners.

Deputy Principal in North Canterbury

I believe they deserve a proper wage for the job they do.

Primary teacher from North Canterbury

They offer fantastic support to children both in and out of classes. We would be lost without them.

Secondary teacher from North Canterbury

They are undervalued and yet a vital part of my lessons. They support those students who need more time to process information/directions as well as students who need extending.

Teacher-Aide from North Canterbury

equipment is organised and prepared for better learning

Principal in North Canterbury

I don’t have enough $$s in the budget to pay them for the valuable work they do in our school.

Secondary teacher in North Canterbruy

Without them I would not survive as they are a huge value to the students’ learning.

2 teacher aides from from Christchurch

We can’t afford to do the best for our students without it.

Carolyn from Parkside School

Kids need love.

Joshua Russell

The teacher can’t do everything.

Paul and Anna

They are valued members of our school community and they deserve a pay rise. Please unfreeze the Ops Grant!

Marisa and Vicky

To enable us to retain quality staff, to ensure good outcomes for our students and to ensure quality support staff are consistent. We need to be able to give support staff the recognition and pay they deserve.

Marcella Russell

Because all children are valuable and support staff equally so!

Sol in Tokoroa

They make a massive difference in nga tamariki lives.

Carol – Learning Support Assistant

Support staff are renegotiating their agreement this year.  Freezing the Operations Grant means any gains in terms and conditions will be offset by job losses or reduced hours in schools where budgets are already tight. The Government knows this. Schools cannot run without Support Staff. They should support Boards and Principals to be good employers and show us recognition and respect.


this is the next generation, we need to look after them so they can look after us in our old age

Teachers from St Albans School

They deserve it! Support staff need job security.

Fred Russell

The labourer is worthy of his hire.

School HR/Payroll manager

Children’s education is important!

Year 3/4 classroom teachers from Christchurch

We need to value our support staff. They help us in so many ways across the school. We need them to have job security and be paid more than a liveable wage!


Mana, Kaitiaki o tatou mokopuna

Early Childhood Teacher

Without them our children’s education will suffer.

Learning Assistants from. Mangere, Auckland

Without us, children fall through the cracks.

Librarian from Auckland

To be recognised for our skills and our qualifications.To be treated and recognised as the vital threads we are in the school and wider community.To feel valued for what we do.

2 teacher aides from from Christchurch

We will lose all the experience they have if they decide to leave and look for another job if there is no funding to retain them in their current job.

Catherine from Auckland

Because we can no longer continue to do this invaluable work without being valued for it by our government, our ministry of education, our community. Enough is enough. Our pay must reflect this value. Token words of appreciation do not pay bills or allow us to nourish our own families. Because every child deserves support. They are worth it, we are worth it.

Learning Assistants from Mangere, Auckland.

We put in more hours than we are paid for and are expected to do more than qualified teachers at times! WE DESERVE MORE!

A ScaleTeacher from Auckland

1.They offer extended learning to support teacher and learner.
2. They are able to work closely with learners and offer valuable feedback to teacher.

Teacher From Auckland

1. They are a vital cog in the daily teaching and learning in our schools.

2. They play an important role in delivering quality programmes in our schools.

Teacher From Auckland

They are invaluable to the efficient running of classrooms because:
-They cater for the abilities of our special needs learners.
-They support learners to lift them to National Standards by giving them 1 to 1 support.
-They are extra hands on to support teachers’ programmes.
-They aren’t paid enough for what they do.

Scale A Teacher from Auckland

1.They are able to provide one on one support that teachers are often unable to do.

2. They also have so much to offer our students regardless of the situation.

3. Are we not doing this for the kids? Why deprive them of the extra support they need to ensure they become successful citizens of New Zealand that contribute to society?

Teacher in Training from Whangarei

We care about the children and their wellbeing! The children are our future! The more support staff there are the better it is for our children!

Early Childhood Educator

We need them because the Teachers do not have enough time for one to one support for our precious Tamariki