Teacher aides backed by more than 500 principals

A teacher helping schoolgirls with their tablets. Getty.
Low job security and wages are a concern for support staff says Ms Stuart. (Getty)

More than 500 principals have thrown their weight behind teacher aides, signing an open letter to the Government asking for more funding to pay support staff.

The open letter was published in a national newspaper today.

"This is an unprecedented show of solidarity for the support staff who do such important work for the children of New Zealand," wrote Lynda Stuart, president of NZEI Te Riu Roa and on leave from her role as principal of May Road School in Auckland.

"This demonstrates the extent of principals' concern for the teacher aides, librarians, administrators and others who are the lifeblood of schools and yet remain some of the lowest-paid people in New Zealand."

Ms Stuart says a lack of job security and low wages for support are cause for concern for support staff.

While they were hoping for "a big funding jolt in last week's budget", the grant was increased by only 1.3 percent, "leaving us with no additional funding to meet extra staffing costs or any additional needs".

Ms Stuart says if they don't get better funding resources will also be at risk, as support staff fulfil a number of roles including learning assistance and administration.

"Our schools can't do without these people," she told Newshub.

"They work in the libraries, they work in admin and they work with our most vulnerable children.

"They may need to be feeding children [and] toileting children, and working with children who need help with their reading."