Firstly, thank you again for everything you have done during this pandemic. Your response has been thoughtful, generous and creative. These traits typify our teaching profession but they are no less remarkable for it.
As a group of DCAT schools, more children have been attending than national comparisons, children returned in September happy to be back and engaging fulltime with your school’s well thought out curriculum. It is clear that parents and carers are confident in you and your staff to keep their children safe and even the government (with a few things on their plate) have written to us to thank you all for your response.
The Prime Minister’s announcement of a new one-month national lockdown takes us all back to seven and a half months, 227 days, to the first lockdown. The main difference now is that schools will be kept open and that we have, ‘in the bank’, the experience and learning from the first time.
The Archbishop of Canterbury wisely tweeted yesterday that ‘this is harder than the first wave – let’s be calm, compassionate and courageous. May the peace of Jesus Christ, who lived through and always knows our troubles, guard and keep us all. And may God guide our leaders in these tough decisions.’
We finish with a list – as we know we all ‘get lists’ as teachers:
1. You are doing a fantastic job – keep going and please ask for help if you need. Please pay attention to your own bodies and minds, it is so easy in public service to put this off. I’ll be in touch with you all personally.
2. Staff wellbeing is key, psychologically for many this is tough. The Assistance Programme/Counselling remains in place for all and we will discuss if there is more that can be done when we meet next week.
3. Your risk assessments are in place and reflect the latest DfE guidance. If any further updates are issued, we will get these to you.
4. We will follow our now established process of revisiting the risk assessments this term with a safe onsite visit from myself, Darren or Beruk.
5. We will push and watch for any updates on examinations/tests as we know the children and teachers need and deserve to know that is happening as quickly as possible. I will be meeting with the DfE to raise this point. We will also cover this at our Headteacher meeting which will take place next week (9th November 2020)
With thanks and prayer.