Teaching Assistants Need Our Support


Last week, I attended an event in the House of Commons to back the GMB union’s campaign calling for support for Teaching Assistants in Northfield.

 I appreciate the valuable role that the quarter of a million Teaching Assistants play in our schools throughout the country helping pupils to realise their full potential – particularly those pupils with specific educational requirements.  The GMB have been running a campaign across the West Midlands to support and promote that valuable work, and last week brought their campaign to Parliament delivering postcards of support to MPs.

I am aware of how strongly many teaching staff feel about the changes the Conservative-led government are introducing in education, and I am conscious that many Teaching Assistants feel their role is under threat by cuts in public funding.  The current generation of teaching staff are the best ever, and yet morale is being seriously eroded by this government’s ham-fisted approach to education reform. 

The GMB event gave me the opportunity to talk directly to local Teaching Assistants on the front line about the job they do, and about the importance of maintaining and supporting Teaching Assistants in our schools.

Teaching Assistants help change lives, and that’s why I am supporting the GMB’s campaign.  So I hope that the government listens to those of us calling for adequate resources that will help improve the conditions of Teaching Assistants, allow them to demonstrate their abilities, and help develop their careers.

Joe Morgan, GMB Regional Secretary said: “The GMB represent thousands of Teaching Assistants across the West Midlands.  I was pleased Richard attended our event with so many other parliamentarians to show their support for the hard work and dedication of Teaching Assistants in the classroom every day.”

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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You can reach me by email at richard@richardburden.com or use the form on the Contact page to send me a message.