So that was TECHOGNITION? I still cannot pronounce the name.
Based upon preproom.org own unique survey back in 2016, several issues relating to our profession were illuminated. Among these, TECHOGNITION was both conceived & billed as;
“……a national celebration of technicians, recognising the importance of their essential roles in school and FE college education.”
In addition to what I would regard as one of the greatest strategic marketing exercises for preproom.org, and their associated advertising partners, ever witnessed, the aim has been to publicly showcase Technicians’ vast knowledge and the variety of tasks that our jobs entail.
Now in its third year, it has very commendably shone a bright spotlight upon this. Social media has been flooded with pictures of colleagues doing their jobs. Lots of freebies have been handed out. Who doesn’t love a freebie?
I completely agree with the values of TECHOGNITION. We as a profession are;
“highly skilled, very experienced and essential members of school and FE college staff whose value is often not fully appreciated”.
TECHOGNITION also has the aim of trying to raise the profile of our profession. When you try to raise the profile of anything in business, essentially it is to get more attention from the public or government or the media. Through this, you would expect some action to be taken.
So, where is this attention? What action has been taken? What changes have taken place? This is now their third year. We must now start the period of reflection and evaluation.
We need some agreed reference point here. I suggest the strategy proposed by the statutory body SSSNB (School Support Staff Negotiating Body) 2005 -2010, is as good as you are going to get. It is certainly one that has been of most concern to our profession for over three decades. One that has receive the most support, and one which received Royal Ascent, before the incoming Conservative Government under Sir Michael Gove disbanded it as part of the “bonfire of the Quangos”
The SSSNB was set up by the last Labour Government to design a national scheme consisting of support staff roles and pay structures in all schools, in place of the shambolic and inefficient 'leave it to each school' approach.
So, the question now must be asked. In the three years since TECHOGNITION (and associated partner advertisers) has been handing out lots of freebies to all technicians (and remember, who does not love a freebie?), what has been achieved to move us closer to this agreed reference point?
It is absolutely fantastic that teachers and senior leaders are now starting to recognise the Profession. It is really nice to be specially thanked, and arguably even better when the same school leaders, leave thank you cards, flowers, boxes of chocolates on our prep room bench or supply cake and buns to their science technician staff across one calendar week of the year.
I am thinking longer term here. I am thinking the bigger picture. I am focused on the school technician who has little control over important areas of their job in terms of cover remuneration, duties and their working time. The school technician whose role profile and their salary structure have a clear imbalance.
I am therefore issuing the challenge to preproom.org under their flag as TECHOGNITION, (and other advertising partners), to become more directly involved with the now Conservative Government, our Local Councillors, School leaders and become more proactive in trying to reach the aims they so clearly presented in their recent unique survey.
The next twelve months will be interesting. The clock is ticking. I am holding preproom.org feet to the fire. I recall preproom.org once telling me to be careful what I wish for.
If we assume that preproom.org under their flag as TECHOGNITION, (and other advertising partners) continue to push next year or longer;
“……a national celebration of technicians, recognising the importance of their essential roles in school and FE college education”
Then they must be seen to do more and focusing their resources evern sharpely instead of giving away freebies (and who does not love a freebie). If not, then the sad reality for all of us can be neatly summed up by my Father who once told me.
Pissing in a wetsuit gives you a warm feeling but nobody else will care or notice. In short. I wish for more!