Throughout #TECHOGNITION week, we asked technicians "If you could send a message to the (UK) government regarding your role as a school science technician, what would you say?". The replies can be found below.
"Pretty much every report on the subject of practical work in schools says that technicians are invaluable and highly skilled. Yet also underpaid, overworked and lack structure in their careers. Time for a change perhaps?"
"We have science degrees.We work with flammables explosives corrosives poisons & radiation.We advise teachers.We research & design experiments.We manage dept budgets.We demo experiments & assist students.Salary should be graduate level."
"We are a team of 4 degree qualified chemists and Physicists. None of us earn enough to be self sufficient. We could all earn far more in a supermarket . Why are we so undervalued?"
"Chance for teacher like pay progression, respected by ALL, paid for overtime, not being seen merely as a glass washer or stationery provider, allowed in consultations affecting Science, have suitable working conditions, have a window to look out of."
"Without Science technicians, safe, engaging science would not take place in schools. Please help Science technicians."
"The specialist knowledge and skills school science technicians possess are well undervalued. They should be utilised as practical advisors to the science faculty with a wage that reflects the levels of responsibility they have."
"We are well qualified, experienced technical staff who enable practical science lessons to be taught. We are so much more than washer uppers and need the pay and recognition that reflects this."
"The knowledge, skills and expertise of school technicians is not recognised or appreciated out of the science department. We are not just washing up we do so much more. We help ensure the H&S of all staff & pupils every day but are paid peanuts."
"We are highly skilled and well qualified.
We enable students to have lots of great hands on scientific experience.
We feel undervalued and underpaid by senior staff."
"I'm going to have to take my qualifications and experience and leave to get a better paid job - on the shop floor at Tesco"
"School Science Technicians play a pivitol role in supporting Learning and Teaching within the School Science Department
Hopefully by reading these comments you will appreciate their value to their departments,to future scientists and to society."
"My 40 plus years of experience as a science technician count for nothing. It takes only 4 years to get to the upper limit of the payscale & then no pay/career progression! I enjoy my job & that it's!"
"Technicians provide students with as many opportunities as possible to be stimulated by practical science activities, and ensure that science departments run efficiently & cost effectively, yet they are rewarded with an utterly derisory level of pay."
"School technicians are integral to the effective teaching of science. We are expected to be professional, well educated and knowledgeable, with a wide and varied skill set. However the majority of us are undervalued, underpaid and yet overworked."
"pay us according to skills (many of us have higher qualifications than some teachers) politicians & public believe that we wash up + give the teachers equipment , the job is for pin money this is my only job,"
"We are at the heart of safety, innovation & resource efficiency. Limited recognition of technical expertise/training, no career structure. We enable science teachers to teach.Outstanding doesn't happen without us, but paid little more than cleaners."
"Tech numbers decreasing, moved to term time only contracts, low wages that don’t reflect the knowledge required to do the job. Work load increasing with curriculum changes."
"The technician workforce are well educated and multi-skilled professionals who play a vital role in encouraging pupils to pursue STEM-based careers. We should not be regarded as department helpers or as a luxury but as an investment in the future."
"Schools need technicians for their valuable knowledge and H&S advice, too many teachers are coming into Science and lack basic H&S knowledge nor adhere to CLEAPSS advice, many never access the site!"
"I'm in the minority of young techs and have worked up to a Senior role. I adore this job, but I can't afford to support myself on the current pay even as a Senior. It's a shame that the wage will eventually force me from a job I love to go elsewhere."
"I love my job and feel a real sense of pride in my work. However technicians are underpaid. I'm degree educated& have 8 years of experience with chemicals behind me, I work full time but live in social housing, needing benefits. I feel demoralised."
"I feel like some of us are undervalued as members of staff. The pay is poor for the amount we do to ensure the students gain a better understanding of science."
"School Science Technicians help to educate our future Engineers and Scientists. RAISE OUR PROFILE! pay us for our knowledge and expertise. Remember our great scientific heritage or are we going to give away expertise abroad?"
"The Government has been promising for years to raise the profile of School Technicians, to have a pay rate that reflects the varied tasks and knowledge that they. When will this happen as there is a crisis of recruitment waiting around the corner."
"I have a genuine passion for my job, I learn on a daily basis and I help others. It makes me sad that the low pay has me looking elsewhere at times."
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