Nearly 20 new reps are active in schools across Manchester following an innovative blended training course combining classroom learning and online training.
With schools struggling to release stewards for the traditional five-day Organising Stewards training, UNISON Organisers worked with the Manchester Branch and the Regional Learning Team to design a bespoke schools course focussed on dealing with educational issues and combining two classroom days of training with online modules.
Classroom learning provides the empowering opportunity to share experiences with stewards from different schools and different job roles whilst online elements give new stewards the flexibility to learn at their own pace.
Kay Seddon, Teaching Assistant at Lily Lane Primary School who attended the course, said:
“The online training was easy to complete and extremely interesting. The step-by-step guide was straightforward so even people who don’t understand computers would be able to complete it. I found this part the most useful because all the legal guidelines were explained in layman’s terms by other stewards.
"I also enjoyed the classroom session as it allowed me to meet support staff from a variety of schools and listen to their issues which helped me realise I’m not alone and that there are plenty of people either within the branch or local schools that can support me.”
New stewards who attended the course have already been recruiting and advising members, shadowing experienced branch officers and representing colleagues. The new wave of activists has allowed Manchester Branch to re-launch their Schools Forum with another blended stewards course planned for later this term.
If you’re interested in holding a blended Organising Stewards Course in your branch, please contact the Regional Learning and Organising Unit via phone on 0161 661 6777 or email [email protected]