School support staff are being forced to work unpaid overtime as a result of increasing workload and dwindling staffing levels, a new survey has found.

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, warned that school support staff are “feeling the brunt” of school cuts, with redundancies forcing those left in the system to do more.

Research by the NEU found that 78 per cent of teaching assistants, school administrators and other support staff are working overtime every week, with 20 per cent claiming their school expects them to work extra hours and 5 per cent saying their school demands it of them. More than 60 per cent of respondents are not paid for their overtime.

Support staff are feeling the brunt of school cuts as schools struggle to make ends meet




We have been a little quite recently as we have been working hard to bring you the latest version of our software.

The Labexpert Stock Control DB Software V3.0.1 is now available with some fantastic new features:
It now has a much easier way of entering information and improved navigation. It allows accountability of chemicals used, it registers quantities used in an academic year with date of last use for every chemical. We have included a used-by date field and a SYC field which lists chemicals that are causing most concern according to the Home Office SYC (Secure Your Chemicals Education) guidance.

  • Every chemical were applicable now has a link to the CLEAPSS HazCard(c) (CLEAPSS membership required) making our software a totally complete system.
  • We have added a number of new reports (23 in total) to allow better planning and accountability.
  • Report of Chemicals Passed Used-by Date
  • Report of chemicals within 3-months of Used-by Date
  • Quantities used in academic year

For more information please call 07799504658 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or find us on the website at

Schools are struggling to cope with fewer science technicians and more examined practical work. What has led to the shortfall, what needs to be done and how can teachers weather the crisis?

School science technicians are often unnoticed by students, or seen as a person in a white coat hidden in the ‘prep room’, a mysterious place students are not allowed to enter. Yet they are an integral part of any school science department. Technicians prepare practical lessons for teachers, ensure secure storage of chemicals and equipment, and oversee laboratory safety. To a science teacher, their technician is often much more than that. 

It is hard to imagine a science department without technicians, but that is the reality for an increasing number of schools. 

Taverham High School in Norfolk are holding the CLEAPSS Working with Glass course on Thursday 19th April. The closing date was 14th March 2018, but CLEAPSS have given the school a couple of more days to find people as they need 3 more people to meet minimum requirement. if you are interested in attending this course please find more details here

This one-day practical course will provide technicians with the knowledge and skills required to make most of the simple bends, and other items required for gas preparation, in most secondary school science departments. It will also demonstrate how some items of broken glass equipment can be repaired.


World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76.  He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday, his family said.

The British scientist was famed for his work with black holes and relativity, and wrote several popular science books including A Brief History of Time.

At the age of 22 Prof Hawking was given only a few years to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease.

Professor Brian Cox described Stephen hawking’s as being “undoubtedly one of the most brilliant scientists of our time”.

Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Prof Hawking in the 2014 film The Theory Of Everything, has paid tribute to "the funniest man".

Some of Stephen Hawkings greatest quotes

  • Trump stance could damage Earth - Hawking
  • On black holes: "Einstein was wrong when he said, 'God does not play dice'. Consideration of black holes suggests, not only that God does play dice, but that he sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can't be seen" - The Nature Of Space And Time, published 1996
  • On the reason why the universe exists: "If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we would know the mind of God" - A Brief History Of Time, published 1988
  • On God: "It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going" - The Grand Design, published 2010
  • On commercial success: "I want my books sold on airport bookstalls"- Interview in The New York Times, December 2004
  • On fame: "The downside of my celebrity is that I cannot go anywhere in the world without being recognised. It is not enough for me to wear dark sunglasses and a wig. The wheelchair gives me away" - Interview on Israeli TV, December 2006

CPD has an impact - on teachers and technicians, their colleagues, their school or college and their students - and this deserves to be celebrated.

So, whether you’ve undertaken CPD at our National STEM Learning Centre in York, through our network of Science Learning Partnerships, via our online CPD, or with one of partners in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland - we want to celebrate your commitment to CPD and the impact that it has had on you, your students and your school or college.

The ENTHUSE Celebration Awards are free to enter, and raise the profile of dedicated teachers, technicians, schools and colleges across the UK.

What’s involved

Each year we hold heats across the UK, where we select regional winners. These winners will then go on to the national final, where our finalists will be announced at a glittering awards event at the Houses of Parliament. Could you be accepting an award next year?

How to apply

Applications for the 2018 ENTHUSE Celebrations are now open.  You can download our guidance document for further details on the application process.  The deadline for applications is 1 April 2018.

There's less than a month left to nominate yourself, or someone you know, for an award!

We had a fantastic three days on this course which took pace at St. Louise's College in Belfast. The College is quite impressive.

The first two days were conducted by the legendary Simon Quinnell who covered all of the Physics and Chemistry practicals that are now prescribed practicals on the N. Ireland GCSE syllabus.

Simon is very subject knowlegeable and also very enthusiastic about our roles as science technician offering plenty of helpful suggestions so that we could work more smarter rather than work more harder.

The third day was carried out by the beautiful Marie Guineess. Marie is no stranger to delivering STEM courses. I attended one of her courses last year. So, it was great to meet Marie again who delivered the Biology component of the STEM course in both a professional relaxed and friendly manner.

Marie, who is also a highly experienced Science Technician, and was able to draw upon the combined pool of knowledge from the people who attended the course. As a result, each person came away at the end of the day with the maximum help and benefit from this worthwhile course. 

A great three days from both instructors. Learning new ideas from new techs which I have now met alongside a chance to say Hi to a few familiar faces.

As the Beast from the East bears down upon us, many schools are forced to close and for others, staff may have to struggle to get into work. Principals and head teachers do not make the decision to close schools lightly.

There are so many factors which must be considered. These include, having the necessary staff to actually teach or supervise students as well as considering the safety of both staff and students while they are on the premises.? Your school employer must also follow a set of regulations when the weather gets too cold. All of these decisions should be made in a reasonable time.

What's the minimum temperature for schools to close?

The minimum temperatures for school classrooms is set by the Education School Premises Regulations 1999. It states that the heating systems must be able to heat rooms to a minimum of 18°C, which must be maintained while the room is in use. This requirement also applies to private study and examinations rooms. But NOT to staff rooms or prep rooms which are covered largely by The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations (or Northern Ireland) 1993 If you do have to go into work, then what are your rights? 

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