CLEAPSS is moving

CLEAPSS will be moving to their new offices on the 14th March 2022.

The CLEAPSS Helpline phone number will stay the same and will remain operational during and after the move. However, we will have reduced capacity to answer helpline calls for a short while after the move while we settle into our new building.

 If you have a safety emergency please call the Helpline as usual and choose option 1. You will be put through to our emergency number.

You will also be able to leave us a message (option 2) which we will respond to as soon as we are able. You can also contact their This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the online web form as usual however you may have to wait slightly longer than usual for a response.

The CLEAPSS Website will function as usual during the move.


Say hello again to our TecHKnow Wiki area

Social-based tools are gaining increasing acceptance in the workplace.  JISCMail Scitech-l, Scitech Forums and TecHKnow, Facebook are now more easily accessible than a decade ago. However, one social media tool that still is evolving is that of Wikis.

A wiki is a collaborative web site that collects and organizes content, created and revised by its users. The most well-known example is Wikipedia. Wikis are a way to grow a knowledge base around certain content areas, be it best practices in our role as Science technicians or advice, and help with issues relating to our workplace. Our TecHKnow Wiki will allow any registered user to contribute. 

Time to value our who?

float:leftOccasionally we see news about Support Staff working in education. When you read the article the subject focuses sharply upon teaching assistants. They are rightly classed as support staff.

“They are the all-too often unsung heroes of schools which would not be able to operate without them”

This is the opening strapline from “The Western mail”. Now do not misunderstand me. Teaching assistants play an invaluable role within education. I have made enjoyable professional friendships with several who work in my place of employment. I am acutely aware of the great work that they do with respect to supporting the teacher in the classroom and indeed all of these hard workers go well above and beyond what is expected of them.

Testing a leaf for Starch

Testing leaves for starch is an experiment that is usually performed in school science laboratories, by pupils of year 7-9. It is a simple experiment that works well in the summer but can be disappointing in the winter months when leaves make little starch. Variations include testing leaves destarched by lack of light, lack of carbon dioxide, or lack of chlorophyll (by using a variegated leaf).

Check out our Wiki area for the typical practical that most schools carry out as well as tips from other Technicians. If you would like to offer your own tips and suggestions for this practical then you are certainly welcome to add this directly to the article (you need a separate registration) or let us know and we will include your suggestion on your behalf.

Visit the article here...

Face Masks rules and Covid passes to end in England

Face masks will no longer be required in classrooms (across England) from tomorrow, the prime minister announced in the Commons today (19 Jan). The prime minister also said the government would immediately drop its advice for people to work from home.

The PM said England was reverting to "Plan A" due to boosters and how people had followed Plan B measures. He told MPs that scientists believed the Omicron wave had peaked nationally.

Also from Thursday next week, people will no longer have to wear face masks anywhere, including shops and on public transport. Covid isolation will be scrapped by the end of March.

Mr Johnson said the legal requirement for people with coronavirus to self-isolate will be axed on March 24 - and could be dropped even sooner.

Government guidance for schools increases Covid risk and threatens learning, warns UNISON

Using support staff to cover for teachers isolating with Covid is the wrong approach to dealing with the school staffing crisis and ensuring pupils’ education continues, says UNISON today (Monday).

This week, the Department for Education (DfE) issued guidance encouraging schools to use support staff “more flexibly” as children return after the Christmas break.

UNISON recognises that the rapid spread of Omicron is causing high numbers of staff absences in schools and that learning must continue for pupils. However, the union says using low-waged employees as teachers on the cheap amounts to exploitation and is inappropriate.

Job Interviews and how to handle them!

So you have been asked to attend interview? - Congratulations! You’re over the first hurdle. The appointments committee etc. obviously has found something within your application form that has attracted their attention! However the hard work is not finished yet.

Back to work in the face of Omicron

Schools across the UK are re-opening this week, with a variety of Covid restrictions in place. It's difficult to predict, what the new term will look like and it will be different from region to region, and nation to nation. Secondary school students & staff will once again be asked to wear masks in classrooms and on corridors, in a bid to limit the threat to children’s education posed by the Omicron variant. While schools and colleges will do their very best to minimise the impact on pupils and staff, as they always do, there is a possibility that this will mean that some classes and year groups have to be sent home for short periods of time to learn remotely.