Education Support Personnel (ESP) Week 2021

ESP Day is celebrated on 16 May each year.

Every day, education support staff work to keep our schools running, support our students to learn and our teachers to teach.

On 16 May, union members across the world celebrate hardworking Education Support Personnel (ESP).

The focus of the international ESP Day is to let ESP know how much they are appreciated, highlight the value of their work and most importantly seek to improve their working conditions and wages.

In 2021, 16 May falls on a Sunday. In the week leading up to ESP Day workplaces/sub-branches are encouraged to celebrate and recognise the extraordinary contribution ESP members make to their schools and their union.

How will your workplace celebrate ESP Day? 

Will it be a morning tea? A collection of thank you messages? A workplace meeting to discuss the important role of ESP and how to ensure ESP members are accessing their full entitlements?

Click here to check your rights and entitlements as an ESP. Talk to your AEU organiser for more information – or join the ESP Facebook group here (AEU members only).

Send in your photos and video messages so we can share them and help ESP members feel appreciated and acknowledged:

Download a poster for your noticeboard here.

History of ESP Day – from Support Staff to Education Support Personnel (ESP)

You may be wondering why the title change from Support Staff to Education Support Personnel (ESP)?

On May 16 and 17, 2018, Education International – the voice of education employees across the globe – hosted a conference in Brussels focused on education support personnel.

David Edwards, the general secretary of Education International (EI), opened the conference by saying “In quality education systems around the world, behind student success there are invisible armies of education support personnel. These under-recognised workers are absolutely vital for student success.”

AEU Education Support Personnel/Support Staff Deputy President Mandy Jackson was one of only two people from Australia that attended this conference.

Due to serious concerns about support staff members across the world, EI was initiating a campaign to improve the status, rights and working conditions of education support personnel.

This conference was the launch of the first International Day of Education Support Personnel, so education support staff can be recognised and celebrated in every school around the world on 16 May each year.

At this conference the motion was moved and accepted that there would be a global and united title. Mandy then presented this motion at our AEU Executive and Council which was then also accepted.