Hornchurch High School recognises its unsung hero support staff at special awards ceremony

Lef to right Steve Tarbuck, Kelly O'Brien, John Warren, Dave Ellis and Headteacher Val Masson.

Lef to right Steve Tarbuck, Kelly O'Brien, John Warren, Dave Ellis and Headteacher Val Masson. - Credit: Archant

Staff who work tirelessly behind the scenes at one Hornchurch secondary school were the centre of attention at a special event recognising the hard work of their community’s non-teachers.

On Friday, November 23, members of Unison - the UK’s largest trade union – visited Hornchurch High School in Broadstone Road to pay tribute to the school’s unsung heroes at a Stars in our Schools ceremony.

For a month beforehand, members of staff and students themselves had been voting for those members of non-teaching staff across the school who deserved to have their hard work recognised.

Mayor of Havering, Cllr Dilip Patel, was on hand to hand over certificates to every member of staff nominated, and those members of staff who received a high number of nominations were also presented with advent calendars from Unison’s Peter Liddle.

Cllr Patel said: “This is a great idea. Support staff are so important so it’s fantastic that this school, both its students and staff, have come together today to recognise them.

“I know from experience how hard support staff work, and quite often they are not recognised enough.

“When you hear some of these people’s stories – there were people here today who have served the school community here for 51 years, 20 years – it is truly outstanding work and it’s right that we celebrate them.”

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Mr Liddle, who is the Havering representative for Unison and represents non-teaching staff in schools, told the Recorder: “I’m ecstatic.

“It’s been a brilliant day and to see the support staff come together has been fantastic.”

Headteacher Val Masson led two assemblies in which first Year 9 and then Year 8 and Year 7 students, were able to show their appreciation for the support staff with loud rounds of applause.

Speaking after the event, Ms Masson said: “It’s been an honour to be the first school in Havering to have an event like this.

“I think it’s also an important way to raise the profile of staff in our school who don’t teach.

“It shows the students here what it is they do and now hopefully they’ll have a better understanding of what they do here on a daily basis.”