School support workers who go that extra mile have been honoured by the Mayor of Wolverhampton.

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Mayor Councillor Barry Findlay hosted a reception yesterday (Monday 16 January, 2017) to reward the winners of Unison's search for the Stars in Our Schools, a celebration of the wonderful work Wolverhampton's school support workers do day in, day out.

Support staff were nominated by schools across Wolverhampton, with the winners invited to the Mayor Parlour for this week's celebration.

They included Pam Rowley, who has worked at St Matthias School for 13 years within Student Services and as Head of Child Protection. In its nomination, the school said: "Everything Pam does, she does for the children. She always goes above and beyond what is required but yet she still has time to give support to staff as well. She is definitely a hero to the school and makes such a difference."

Cook Pam Dhaliwal was nominated by St Edmund's Catholic Academy which said: "Her dedication is second to none and the array of dishes she serves up are fabulous. She works tirelessly always with a smile despite working in a pressurised environment. She is at the heart of the school community, she is greatly loved by all."

Tettenhall Wood School said support worker Kate Taylor's "dedication and commitment" was demonstrated when she gave up her own time to accompany children on a trip abroad which otherwise would not have happened. It added: "She increased her skills by completing a swimming instructor course which has enabled pupils to make wonderful progress. Tettenhall Wood School looks forward to seeing her continue to shine as the star that she is."

S Peter and Paul Academy nominated Jaswinder Willkhu, who it said "does far more than is expected of her; she runs a successful breakfast club and makes beautifully decorated cakes for each and every fundraising event." The school added: "Jaswinder is a generous and compassionate member of staff and really is a star at SS Peter and Paul's."

The final award winner was City of Wolverhampton Council cleaning supervisor Margaret Wright, nominated by Wednesfield High Academy which said: "She works tirelessly to ensure a high standard of cleaning where ever she works and always gathers staff together in times of emergency, such as flooding. Margaret has previously been invited to a school prom as she is so loved by pupils."

Mayor Councillor Findlay said: "It takes a whole team to make a school a safe and happy place for children to learn.

"School support staff help children learn, keep children safe and healthy and make sure schools run smoothly. They are the caterers, the admin staff, the finance officers, the teaching assistants, the librarians, the ICT technicians, the parent support advisers, and more.

"I was delighted to meet the winners of Unison's search for Stars in our Schools and to reward them for their hard work for our city's young people."

Councillor Claire Darke, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education, added: "School support staff are vital to the effective running of a school, helping to raise standards and improve outcomes, but this is not often recognised as they are usually tucked away behind the scenes. They are the unsung heroes of our children's education."

  • released: Tuesday 17 January, 2017