“Thank you” is the word being used by pupils at a Portsmouth school who have celebrated the launch of an initiative to recognise their classroom superheroes.

Teach Portsmouth, a Portsmouth City Council service to support the recruitment and retention of education professionals, is asking people who live in the city to thank primary and secondary school staff who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said:

“Schools in the city do an immense job to support families, taking on responsibilities that often go above and beyond the call of duty. Those who work in schools have a special place in people’s hearts and we want to capture that.

“Over the years, we have asked families to nominate a teacher, but this year, we’ve gone even bigger, by asking Portsmouth’s community to give a collective round of applause for school staff by thanking them.

“From receptionists to school governors, everyone can be recognised for their contribution, in a way that involves the whole community coming together to say thank you.”

Pupils from Meon Way Federation hosted a special launch event in support of their classroom heroes.

(Left to right) Mike Sto

(Left to right – Mike Stoneman, deputy director, education, Sara Paine, executive head at Meon Federation and Cllr Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education)

Sara Paine, executive head at Meon Way Federation said:

“It was fantastic to be part of the launch of the thank a school superhero campaign. Our children and their parents and carers are fully behind it to show appreciation for all our incredible staff.

“The children have told me how amazing their teachers and support assistants are, thanking them for all they do. This is a huge gesture and one which will really make a difference!”

An online form has been added to the Teach Portsmouth website where people can write a short message for a school superhero.

Alternatively, schools have been supplied with special thank you postcards which are located inside receptions for parents and carers to complete.

There is no restriction on who can be thanked. However, it is recommended that whoever is chosen still works at the school – so their message can reach them.

Mike Stoneman, deputy director for education at Portsmouth City Council said:

“There are many schools in Portsmouth with staff and volunteers who provide essential support. While saying thank you is a simple gesture, it can give someone a real boost on days that are more challenging.

“This activity is part of our ongoing work to support recruitment and retention through the Portsmouth Education Partnership. I can’t wait to see the special messages we receive from families.”

The deadline for thank you messages is Wednesday 14 February. After this time, messages will be collated and sent to schools on a special printed document to be displayed on noticeboards for all to see in June 2024.

For more information and to submit a thank you message, visit www.teachportsmouth.co.uk/thankyou