Are you a School Support worker? There are £300 Grants available to you!

Are you a School Support worker? There are £300 Grants available to you!


You could be entitled to a £300 Grant from UNISON

UNISON have just announced a new scheme for members who work in schools that means you could be entitled to a Personal Learning Development Grant of £300!

This is an excellent initiative from the union and demonstrates UNISON’s commitment to help the development of our members.

The form states

“Our Schools Support Staff members make up an increasing proportion of our union’s membership. To help you get on at work and develop your career,UNISON is piloting Personal Learning Development Grants for Schools Support Staff. A limited number of awards of up to £300 each are offered for course fees.

These grants can be used for a wide range of courses. They can help pay forfees on any general non-vocational course (e.g. IT courses, skills training,languages etc.) or any vocational course relevant to working in public services(e.g. counselling, accountancy and management courses would be supported butnot beautician training or electronic engineering!).

You do need to be paying the full course fee yourself to be eligible for this grant.We will give preference to members with few or no qualifications when allocating these awards. We are also keen to hear from members who are active in their branch. However applications are welcomed from all Schools Support Staff members.”

Applications must be received by the national office by 25th August, so contact the branch Learning Reps by emailing and as soon as possible for more information / the application form (when emailing please send to both addresses due to annual leave)

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New courses available through UNISON

New courses available through UNISON

Lifelong learningCoventry City UNISON are pleased to announce that the union will be organising a number of courses open to members.

These courses are –

  • Computer and IT for Beginners
  • Numeracy Skills
  • Dementia Awareness
  • Literacy Skills

They will take place at the regional office and are due to begin in September. You can sign up and get further information by visiting the regional learning website which offers full details. If you have any questions please contact your branch Learning Reps Paul Hunt and Mike Wallace (

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UNISON in Broadgate House

UNISON in Broadgate House


The UNISON Learning Stall in Broadgate House

UNISON were out and about last week with another learning and education stall in Broadgate House. We gave out a load of information about the UNISON Learning Grant, courses that can be accessed through the union and copies of the Adult Education’s Choice Magazine.

We will be back in Broadgate House today (Weds 28th June) between 12-2, so feel free to stop and have a chat!

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New booklet from UNISON showcases learning opportunities

New booklet from UNISON showcases learning opportunities


The new ULR toolkit

The Learning and Education team at Coventry City UNISON are pleased to publicise a new ULR toolkit which outlines some great ideas and opportunities for learning, training and development. This is an excellent tool for all UNISON activists.

Produced nationally by UNISON, it details how the union can offer courses and opportunities around things such as Maths, English and Digital Skills. There is also some really useful information about the Open University, OpenLearn and Future Learn with a guide about tackling stress in the workplace, linking up with local libraries and much more.


Information from the Open University

If would like more information and have questions about what UNISON can do for you and your colleagues contact the branch office!

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New issue of Learning Rep magazine out now

New issue of Learning Rep magazine out now

Learning Rep Magazine

The latest issue of Learning Rep magazine is out now. Learning Rep is produced by Unionlearn and the TUC and is full of information about learning, education and development.

It includes;

  • Training the train drivers of the future
  • Promoting reading for change
  • Renewing jobs on Humberside
  • Scoring for equality in Barnsley
  • Moving on in mid-life
  • Learning at the supermarket

Click here to have a read!

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New pamphlet from Coventry UCU!

New pamphlet from Coventry UCU!


The new pamphlet from Coventry UCU

The Coventry City UNISON Education and Learning team are very pleased to promote a new pamphlet produced by brothers and sisters from the Coventry branch of the University and College Union (UCU). The pamphlet entitled ‘Growth is ok, but…what about quality?’ gives a very good outline and overview of the situation facing Higher Education and in particular at Coventry University.

They state

“We think that instead of pursuing growth at all costs, effectively riding headlong into the storm, we should be concentrating on providing quality education within a sustainable growth plan, investing where necessary, and riding out the storm. The new providers that are only concerned with profit will be shown, as they have already in the US, to be offering a ‘subprime’ investment for students.”

The pamphlet also explains how UCU have gone from strength to strength at the university with excellent campaigning, and this should serve as an inspiration to all UNISON activists and members.

You can download the pamphlet by clicking here. Let us know any feedback!



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Mental health first aid – we all have a role to play

Mental health first aid – we all have a role to play

Mental Health First Aid

Mental health first aid

We are pleased to publish this piece on Mental Health First Aid originally carried on the TUC Unionlearn website.

Huma Munshi, along with a number of colleagues at the TUC, has recently been trained as a Mental Health First Aider – in this blog she writes about the course and how people can support mental health at work….

Along with a number of TUC colleagues, I took part in a two-day training session on mental health first aid. The purpose of the course was to develop the confidence and the capacity of the participants to provide “first aid” to colleagues who may be showing signs of mental distress.

There are some facts we may all be familiar with: one in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year. Stress, anxiety, depression can often be a very natural response to the pressures we may all face: be that at work, in our personal lives, financial worries or trauma. But there are also some other facts I learnt at the training course which struck me. The suicide rate for men is significantly higher than for women, the UK suicide rate was 10.8 deaths per 100,000 population in 2014. The male suicide rate was more than 3 times higher than the female rate, with 16.8 male deaths per 100,000 compared with 5.2 female deaths. Notions of masculinity and staying quiet in the face of mental distress all make it harder for some people to access appropriate help.

The trainer emphasised the importance of making sure the person in distress is safe. Despite the media’s sensationalised headlines, a person with severe mental health problems is more likely to hurt themselves or be a victim of hate crime.

After safety considerations have been met it is important to reassure the person, provide initial help and guide a person towards appropriate professional help. Throughout the course there was an emphasis on what we as an organisation and as individuals can do to address the stigma that still surrounds mental health. A person may internalise this stigma or shame and may be less likely to ask for help.

There are a number of steps we can all take to ensure we proactively create a positive working environment. This can be though calling out bullying if we witness it to offering a sympathetic ear when a colleague may be under pressure. It may not always be obvious that someone is going thought a difficult or distressing time. People experiencing mental health difficulties may be high functioning so may not always show signs of experience mental distress. Given we spend so much time in the workplace, it makes sense to have a workplace which is safe and has a positive impact on our wellbeing.

The two day course was an intense and challenging experience but I see it as an opportunity to use the learning to raise awareness amongst colleagues. Any one of us could experience a traumatic experience or significant levels of stress that could have an adverse reaction on our mental health. There is a great benefit in learning about mental health, listening to our colleagues without judgement and providing support. The barrier of shame and stigma can only be removed through dialogue.

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