19th June 2020
Since my last letter to the whole staff team, we have now all successfully completed the wider school reopening project as directed by the government. Both Cathy and I have had the pleasure of attending all schools since 2nd June to see how the risk assessments I approved are being implemented and to see (most of) your faces again!
Thanks for all your hard work in helping us to welcome back more children; it was a delight to see them and to hear them say how they are glad to be back. With your help we reached a new high score of children attending our schools this week: 1,042. Impressively, that’s over one third of all our pupils.
However, this means that two thirds of our children are still not in school. Whilst we are doing all we can to support home learning, we know that there is a concern in terms of lost schooling, including around welfare issues. This sense of concern has dominated media coverage over the past week or so and raised many questions around ‘catch up’ and summer provision.
Naturally, I welcome the government announcement today that £1B is to be invested in a project to help children to catch up. Like me, many of you will have read this news and listened to Nick Gibb MP on the radio with interest. I am even more pleased to read that the spending of this money is to be put into the hands of schools and that there is to be close collaboration with the Education Endowment Fund and its important research on how best to tackle the ‘gaps’ in learning. Further, the announcement seems to make clear that the emphasis is less on a summer catch up and more on additional investment once we are back in autumn. We still await the details of what the overall programme will look like and these may follow soon.
Contrary to what some ‘out there’ believe, I know that everyone in our staff team has been working extremely hard in extraordinary circumstances and badly needs the summer break to unplug, refresh and reset. We know next term will be a big one, and I want you to be ready to face that, whatever it looks like. So, let’s look forward to the break and hopefully some great English weather!
Thanks again for all you do; I continue to be proud of you.
With kind regards and appreciation
Chief Executive Officer