This is a 12 day course running from March to July 2020. The course is ideal for new or inexperienced Science Technicians. Participants will develop a wide range of practical skills needed to be a competent school science technician.  

Participants will also:
- enhance their understanding of the science behind common practical activities
- develop greater confidence in carrying out their role
- have access to individual tailored support from CLEAPSS advisers
- learn how to make more effective use of CLEAPSS resources

The course consists of twelve 'one day' units:  Dates for the 2020 training program are as follows: 

3 March, 20 March, 31 March, 22 April, 6 May, 19 May, 2 June, 9 June, 24 June, 30 June, 7 July, 14 July 2020

Total cost per technician: £950

For more information about this course and to download a booking form please see our website http://courses.cleapss.org.uk/Courses/Course-Details.aspx?CourseId=1000056

Around half of the school workforce is made up of support staff, but their voices struggle to be heard. There are thousands of schools where support staff are treated well, integrated into the school’s mission and are valued for their unique contribution. However in far too many schools, support staff are an afterthought.

UNISON the main union for support staff carried out our biggest ever survey of school support staff to find out the challenges that they face. The survey results revealed a dedicated but demoralised workforce. They love their job, but feel undervalued and concerned about pay, workload and stress

We received over 15,400 responses, from across the school support staff team. The majority worked as teaching assistants/classroom assistants (60%) but all other support staff roles were well represented.  Around 60% worked in community schools, with 24% in academies, 8% working in trust/foundation schools and 3% in free schools. Unsurprisingly nearly 90% were women.

[Read article here | Education Support - Supporting School Staff]

Congratulations to Wilson Agnew RSciTech, who has just been awarded Honary membership of the ASE. It was presented to Wilson at the recent ASE annual conference. Also awarded were Tanya Dempster; Lynda Needham and Mary Whitehouse

Wilson is Senior Science Technician at Belfast High School in Northern Ireland. He has been a member of the ASE for over 26 years.

He has held previous positions as Secretary of ASE Science Laboratory Technicians Committee, as well as the Northern Ireland Committee (Region11)

He was nominated by the Northern Ireland regions and Technicians committee. The award is usually given to those who have demonstrated professional or personal achievements within the ASE organisation.

TecHKnow wishes to extend our congratulations to Wilson. Well deserved!!

Welcome back to a brand new decade, a brand new year and indeed a brand new term.  Also a special welcome to twenty six new members who have registered with the TecHKnow website over the past few months. We have recently updated all areas of the website so that we can guarantee a safe and secure environment for all of our members.

As a reminder of who we are. TecHKnow has been in existence since May 2004. Yes we are that old! Since we went live at 0800hrs on May17th to be precise, our mission statement has been more or less the same. 

To allow school science technicians to come together regardless of length of service or their position to share knowledge, information and best practice across the profession.

In the face of the growing popularity of social media like Facebook and other established websites, it is difficult, time consuming and even financially impossible to compete with the services they provide. That is not a sign of weakness. Rather, it is a strong acceptance that we remain always true to our core mission statement and focus at all times in providing you, our valued member, with a website platform and a FREE service to allow you to;

  • Contribute your knowledge and professional experience across our growing community. As a consequence of your contribution, others receive a high quality of advice and help.
  • To create and develop groups to discuss ideas of professional, scientific and practical importance within the profession.
  • To promote greater recognition and consistency for the technician role.

How we do this is easy. We place you at the center of everything that we do. For example.

  • If you have any news, information, ideas that would be helpful to the community, then we are happy to share this on our front news page area.
  • As a member you can participate freely in our Forums area. There are various sections for professional topics of interest and an area also for out of work chat. 
  • You can create and manage a public or private group covering endless professional themes, ideas or topics of interest. 
  • Our Wiki area allows you to publish large or small articles where you can contribute your specialised professional knowledge to the community on a wide range of topics.
  • You can simply lurk, browse and pick up any help or information that available anwhere around the site.

So whether you are a long standing member or a newbie, I think we can help each other. We have been successfully serving the Science technician profession for sixteen years. I maybe biased, but I strongly believe we are quite good at helping you carry out your nine to five job more effectively, easily & safely. Iif you just want a place to  a groan about work & home life we are here for that as well! 

We always welcome feedback regarding any area of TecHKnow and we are always available to help you answer any questions that you might have. You can always contact us via our private messenger facility, by email techknowuk at gmail.com or, post a message below.

Hundreds of maths and science technicians have been shed from Scotland’s schools prompting fears that the next generation of doctors and engineers could be lost.

There are 333 fewer Stem technicians in primary and secondary schools, down 30 per cent over the past decade, according to figures obtained by Labour through Freedom of Information. [Read more here : The Scotsman - Scotlands National Newspaper]

It has prompted fresh concerns over a funding squeeze in schools, with a warning that technicians provide pupils with vital “hands on” experience in subjects related to the key science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects which the Scottish Government is seeking to promote in classrooms. Of the hundreds lost, 316 have been in secondaries.

 

I have a Technician who is absolutely lazy. They moan when there is work to do, and when I ask them to help out (or to do a specific task) they are very slow, question why they have to do the job or sometimes do not complete the job to my standards.

I have discussed this informally and in person with the technician on a few occasions, but every time I attempt to reason with the Technician they just "lift the eyes to heaven" and walk away. Can they be dismissed from the job on the grounds of poor performance?

Find out more about how to handle this or similar situations on our TecHKnow Wiki here.....

As promised. Here is the write up of the talk Andy Connolly did at the Science Museum Conference. It is called; 

"Technically Speaking: a corpus linguistic study of the value of technicians"

I hope you find it interesting. It is a heavy read, but nevertheless a worthwhile and enjoyable read. Please let me know if you have any comments or thoughts. I'd love to hear them.
 
 
The plan is to get the rest of the survey data processed before Christmas. Thank you for all your support,
 

The Labour Party’s official manifesto for the 2019 general election has officially been launched this in Birmingham (21/11/2019). Besides the party’s school spending plans and a few other nuggets, the document is mostly made up of pledges either made in 2017 or announced since. Here’s what’s in there for schools. Note that some of the pledges apply specifically to School support staff.

These are highlighted below.

 

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