Completed petition Funding for the Education Workforce Council Registration (EWC) Fee for Learning Support Workers in Schools
Since April 2016, Learning Support Workers in schools and colleges in Wales have been required to register with the Education Workforce Council (EWC) - the same body that regulates Teachers and Further Education Lecturers.
This year the actual fee for Learning Support Workers to register was £15. It was £45 for teaching and lecturing staff. The fee from April 2017 is not yet clear. UNISON lobbying secured an agreement from 12 Local Authorities to pay, in whole or in part, the 2016 fee on behalf of Learning Support Workers in Schools – therefore recognising that these workers are amongst the lowest paid in the public sector, largely due to their term time worker status.
The remit of the EWC has so far been concerned with Teachers and Lecturers who are on significantly better wages than Learning Support Workers.
Learning Support Workers are predominantly women, the vast majority are paid term time only, unlike teachers and lecturers; their contracts are more likely to be fixed term and at the mercy of school budget cuts. Many work more than one job already.
Those Local Authorities who committed to pay the fee last year should be acknowledged. But, at a time of ever squeezed budgets, there are no guarantees for April 2017. Additional money must be ring fenced in the Local Government settlement to ensure that Learning Support Workers are not expected to bear the burden of the cost of registration next April.
For these reasons we the undersigned call upon the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to ring fence monies in the Local Government settlement to fund the EWC fee for Learning Support Workers in Schools in April 2017
This petition was considered by the Petitions Committee
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