Over 100 people have returned to the pickets to protest for fairer pay for staff at a Branksome special educational needs school.

The support staff at Victoria Education Centre have said they have no other option but to strike.

Senior teaching assistant Rhian Rothery said: “All of us are still here because we love our jobs.

We don’t want to be outside shouting and screaming. We want to be doing the job that we signed up for.”

Rhian explained that multiple staff members at Victoria Education have had to take on second jobs to afford to live; some staff members are having to use food banks.

For nearly two years, they have been demanding better pay from Livability, the charity that runs the SEND school on Lindsay Road in Poole.

The teaching assistants at the school receive minimum wage, on an hourly rate of £10.42 per hour.

Rhian said: “What a lot of people don’t realise is that the school staff don’t get paid all year round.

“People always comment on the fact we get lots of holidays, but we can’t afford to do anything or go anywhere.”

The staff are urging Livability to consider the responsibilities and expectations of teaching assistants when working with children with special educational needs.

Julia Rogers, a senior teaching assistant at the school, said: “We have to do everything; we do their educational needs, personal care needs, and medical care needs.

“I don’t want to get another job. I want to stay here because I love the job so much.

“All I want is for our staff to be recognised for what they do, day in and day out, and £10.42 doesn’t cut it.”