Have your say on what’s happening where you work. We need UNISON members in schools to speak up. UNISON represents around 250,000 school support staff across the UK and those members do fantastic work to help children learn, keep them safe and healthy and schools running smoothly.

But, life is getting harder in our schools so we are running a consultative ballot of our members about their pay, terms and condition and workload.

Consultative ballot – England only.

The consultation ballot is now open and will run until 5 March. Members should have received an email with a link to vote.

Vote now

We are asking you to speak up for your school in our consultative ballot:

  • We want to know what you think, and what you are prepared to do, to help us defend schools against further cuts and job losses
  • It’s about stopping workload increases and defending your pay, terms and conditions
  • We are consulting all school support staff in England and it is important that you have your say.

We are asking you three simple questions and your answers will help us in our campaign and negotiations with employers and the government. Didn’t get the email? Please check we have a current email address for you. Not already a member? Join before 15 February to have your say.

#ASEchat is a weekly online science education discussion group conducted via twitter that takes place on Monday evenings from 8-9pm (GMT).

Put the 18th March in your diaries, CLEAPSS will be hosting a session.

The title will be 'The importance of practical work, and how CLEAPSS can support this' Plus an 'open' Q&A sessions about any science H&S questions people may have.

The GROUPS area of TecHKnow (on our main menu) is a powerful social and professional networking component for colleagues who wish to discuss specific professional interests. It allows you to organise yourselves into smaller community groups and we provide you with easy to use familiar tools in which to do this with! Click on the Community menu link and select Groups to enter this area.

  • Do you already manage or coordinate a focus or technician group for science/technology technicians around the UK?
  • Would you like to join a focus group that would deal with practical (or any other issues) relating to, for example,  STEM, EDEXCEL, or any other curriculum or professional issues?
  • Do you have a passion and interest in Astronomy, electronics, technology, Health and Safety and would like to share & discuss this passion with others as a Group in more detail?

 Then the GROUPS area maybe just what you need!  - Why not set up a GROUP on TecHKnow right now. Read more to find out...

Microbiology is an integral part of the biology curriculum from key stage 3-5. This one day course (Thursday 7th February)  will develop the skills and knowledge for science technicians to be able to prepare safe and effective microbiology practicals for students and teachers to use.

We will explore basic aseptic techniques for technicians, health and safety in microbiology, hints and tips to make the job easier and explore a range of resources and practicals to enhance microbiology work in our schools and colleges.

The cost of the course is £100.00 and its run by Simon Quinnell


You will be able to

  • develop your aseptic techniques to prepare microbiology practicals safely
  • understand and communicate health and safety issues with microbiology to others
  • prepare and give advice on a range of practicals suitable for 11-19 biology

Details and booking form can be found here or by contacting;

Sandrine Bouchelkia, (Senior Science Technician), St Paul’s Way Trust School, 125 St Paul’s Way, London E3 4FT

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. For enquiries, please call Sandrine Bouchelkia on 0207 987 1883 extn 1359

The Gratnells Science Technician of the Year Competition is now in its eleventh successful year!

Have you submitted your application for this year's Science Technician of the Year Awards yet? With every completed and returned entry, you'll now recieve four free Gratnells mini trays
Apply online or download a form today: https://www.gratnells.com/education/science-technician-of-the-year

The ENTHUSE Celebration Awards recognise teachers, technicians, support staff, ENTHUSE Partnerships and schools and colleges who have shown commitment to continuing professional development (CPD), which in turn, has improved young people’s achievements and progression in STEM.

At STEM Learning, we believe in recognising those who are dedicated to CPD and our awards are designed to celebrate those who have benefitted from it. Find out more information here..

If you want to know what’s really going on in a chemistry lab, ask the technician. They keep everything running smoothly, know the trick to getting that temperamental piece of equipment working and make sure missing chemicals are ordered.

But universities are set to lose this valuable resource. ‘41% [of technicians] are due to retire in the next 10 years,’ explains Kelly Vere, higher education engagement manager at the Science Council and director of technical skills and strategy at the University of Nottingham, UK. ‘That’s actually a ticking time bomb, because we are not training enough younger people with those skills.’

The article focuses upon Science Technicians in the University sector. Bob Worley FRSC has come to the defense of Secondary School Science Technicians and highlights that similar problems also exist within our profession. 

Okay, the official bit first. Whose responsibility is it to clear out the sink traps? It is important that you look to your job description in the first instance.

If it clearly states that YOU are responsible, then your employer is required under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to make sure that you have been given adequate Instruction, training, Information and supervision in how to do it. If your employer does not arrange this and you feel uncertain about how to do it, then that is reasonable grounds for refusal.

Do NOT accept the job of cleaning out sink traps because what that usually will mean is that it will be your job forever!

Latest Forum Posts

More Topics »