By Claire West

Commenting on the announcement by the Secretary of State for Education of the abolition of the School Support Staff Negotiating Body (SSSNB), Chris Keates General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“This was not unexpected but is nevertheless an appalling decision by the Secretary of State.

“Support staff in schools are essential members of the education team around the child.

“The SSSNB was introduced to address the fact that in too many schools, support staff were not recognised or rewarded as professionals in their own right and were often exploited.

“Employers have today been given a licence to exploit their staff.

“Today’s decision is not only significant for support staff in schools, it is also highly significant for teachers.

“This announcement clearly signals the intention to dismantle the national pay and conditions framework for teachers.

“The Coalition Government’s ambition is clearly to abandon children and young people to the mercy of a free market free-for-all.

“This is bad news for pupils, bad news for staff and bad news for the taxpayer.

“The gloves are now clearly off.

“The NASUWT will be united with support staff colleagues in their fight for fair pay and decent working conditions.”