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Support staff at Hartlepool school are shining stars

Support staff at Eldon Grove Academy are rewarded for their'dedication and commitment with head of school Audrey Brahimi (seated left), organiser for UNISON Jo Spires (standing centre) and assistant headteacher Sharon Stephenson (seated right).
Support staff at Eldon Grove Academy are rewarded for their'dedication and commitment with head of school Audrey Brahimi (seated left), organiser for UNISON Jo Spires (standing centre) and assistant headteacher Sharon Stephenson (seated right).

Staff at a Hartlepool school have been hailed shining stars after being recognised for their contributions.

Non-teaching staff at Eldon Grove Academy in the town were presented with ‘Stars in our Schools’ certificates at a celebration tea party to honour their hard work, dedication and commitment within school.

Support staff member and housekeeper at Eldon Grove Academy,  Margaret Foster, 71, is served up a treat by pupil Thomas Callaghan, 10.

Support staff member and housekeeper at Eldon Grove Academy, Margaret Foster, 71, is served up a treat by pupil Thomas Callaghan, 10.

Local organiser for UNISON Jo Spires, who co-ordinated the event, said: “Each year UNISON runs its ‘Stars in our Schools’ annual celebration day to show just how much support staff are valued.

“Sometimes the work they do can go unrecognised so we are delighted that the school leaders at Eldon Grove Academy, and other schools within the Extol Academy Trust, really value their support staff.”

Eldon Grove Academy holds a gold award for Investors in People and employs over 40 members of support staff including classroom assistants, one to one student support workers, office staff, housekeepers, administration staff, ICT staff, breakfast club, lunch and lunchtime supervisors.

Head of School, Audrey Brahimi, said: “Our support staff really do help with the smooth running of our school and are a huge support for our teaching staff.

We are extremely lucky to have at least one support staff member in each class and the list of jobs they do is endless

Audrey Brahimi

“We are extremely lucky to have at least one support staff member in each class and the list of jobs they do is endless.”

Support staff were served coffee and cakes by assistant head Sharon Stephenson, head boy and girl Elliott Robson and Ava Wright, deputy head boy and girl Gary-Lee Barker and Elizabeth Keay-Bolton and school council members Thomas Callaghan and Madeleine Thompson.

Housekeeper Margaret Foster, who has worked at the academy for over 12 years, said: “I have had a bit of a tough year and the school has been wonderful. I’ve felt really looked after and supported – it’s a great place to work.”

One to one classroom assistant Becky Elsden, said: “I’ve just returned to Eldon Grove Academy after taking time out as a childminder and I really enjoy being here.

“Having a celebration event for support staff is brilliant and it really makes you feel valued as a member of staff.”