Having a well-trained, well-deployed and efficient support team will improve overall provision for pupils and have a positive impact on their achievement and wellbeing.

Inside the classroom, higher levels of literacy, language and numeracy – and information and communication technology (ICT), in some cases – will enable classroom support staff to play a more active part in supporting learning.

Outside the classroom, functional skills will help staff manage the safety and behaviour of pupils, ensuring the smooth running of the school. For example, office staff may be involved in monitoring and recording attendance; site staff will be responsible for displaying and maintaining hazard warnings; catering staff will advise pupils on menu options and costs; and mid-day supervisors will interact with pupils to promote positive behaviour.

All those roles have a direct impact on the wellbeing and safety of pupils, and they all require staff to have effective literacy, language and/or numeracy skills (and ICT in some cases).

All schools have a statutory duty to safeguard children, to promote their welfare and to safeguard them from abuse and neglect. Staff must therefore have the literacy and language skills to understand their role in safeguarding children, to respond appropriately to potential abuse and to report any concerns clearly and accurately both verbally and in writing.