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.
"With snow falling again around the country I have just heard that some Science Techs are on Zero hour contracts and won't be paid when school is closed!! How is that allowed?"
"Technicians and teachers go hand in hand. Teachers can do the theory and technicians the practicals. By devaluing one the other will suffer. Better pay and understanding will bring in and keep those who schools can really benefit from."
"I work in a good school. The role isn't taken seriously by some schools.Little support for young/new technicians is given. The job is varied requiring a great deal of practical and technical knowledge. Not enough training and poor pay is an issue."
"I love enabling children to learn through practical science. Unfortunately, due to lack of career/wage progression, I am unlikely to stay in this role and go back to working in industry and that makes me sad. I wish things could be different!"
"Many of us are educated to degree level and offer a wide breadth of knowledge to our roles yet have no recognition of this reflected in our wages and have next to no career progression. I love my job, but will probably move on in the future."
"Techs do much more than hand out kit they keep a school running safely, legally, efficiently and economically."
"We would love to be more recognised and paid better for the work we do"
"Graduate levels of skill/knowledge, practical experience and a strong commitment to education are expected but dishwasher level wages are paid hence low staff retention. I'm as qualified as most of the teachers."
"I provide valuable technical support knowledge to staff , trainees . I keep students safe and facilitate their science learning .Stop treating us as unskilled , taking away Senior roles, reducing hours and pay. Treat us with the respect we deserve"
"School science would not happen without dedicated science technicians supporting teachers.We are highly qualified and professional with a huge skill set that needs to be recognised and reflected in working conditions and salary.This is long overdue."
"As a science technician I am an integral part of the science department, I have a larger impact on the teaching and learning of our students than the SLT and public give me credit for. I am proud to have an effect on our young learners education."
"Why do Heads of schools and governors cut science technician support, but still expect same standards in science?"
"School science will suffer if you don't start recruiting qualified technicians and pay decent wages. We are not skivvies washing up and putting glassware away, we are professionals who deserve recognition and recompense for the hard work we do."
"It now about time this very important job is recognised with a decent pay scale and respect from School management bodies . We are not just people who wash out test tubes but a vital part of the school community ."
"It's the best job in the world and we are essential for the successful teaching of science. However, our role is undervalued and underpaid. We have specialist technical skills and handle hazardous materials but often get paid less then admin staff."
"Technicians under valued. Often techs are more qualified in their particular science than teachers.
Schools pay office and caretaking staff at higher grades than techs, although we are responsible for safety and handling harmful chemicals.
"The minimum wage will be £9 by 2020. As a technician I earn about that. As my salary is unlikely to go up more than 1% by then I will be almost on minimum wage in 2020.
What are you going to do to ensure technician wages reflect their experience?"
"As technicians we are invaluable in supporting and making the life of the teachers a little less stressful. We are expected to be a jack of all trades.
The pay is not enough to bring up a family as a main wage earner."
"Give us more budget!!"
"School Science Technician - the education systems MacGyver!"
"(a science technician is a) Jack-of-all trades which has the breadth and depth of experimental techniques above and beyond what the school syllabus requires, so that s/he can always assist and advise during inquiry-based projects/STEM demos"
"We make a huge contribution to the education of students, ensuring they experience a wide range of scientific experiments to enhance learning. Without them science becomes very dry subject and risks losing the ability to inspire future generations."
"wages have been review on an annual basis, for the past three years due to budget restraints,weeks even being cut, jobs are not undertaken, we are the first point of call for teachers and other staff yet don't get the recognition we should do"
"We have a large amount of technical skills for one of the lowest paid jobs in school. The job has a high risk factor. We need a national pay structure like teaching staff have."
"Science is a practical subject that couldn't happen without. techs. We provide an invaluable service!!!"
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