"Like to say a huge thank you to everyone for all their hard work."
"We are grateful for all the measures put in place and the support has been second to none."
"Home learning was clear and easy to follow, topical and expanded on learning to further capture imagination."
"School did amazing with all help through lockdown and gave me massive confidence that all safety measures were put in place for my child to go back."
"Brilliant communication and fantastic support on a daily basis from."
"Please keep up the fab work these are unprecedented times we live in and I think you have done more than enough for the children and young people plus and their families."
"I felt fully informed at all times during Lockdown, by phone calls, messages etc. My worries, concerns about sending my child back to school were answered and I felt happy overall."
"Felt really supported by the school during lock down with weekly phone calls"
"I felt the school was helpful and supportive during the pandemic and considered me and my child's needs and wellbeing constantly."
"School went well above their requirements during lock down. We never felt as if we were on our own, we always knew we could contact someone if needed. All the staff have been amazing during a very difficult time."
"Excellent support from staff. Thank you"
"Thank you .... you're all doing an amazing job"
"Whilst not ideal, you are working hard to keep the children safe and in a stable routine. Thank you."
"Thank you for the updates and the way you keep our children and staff safe."
"Hope you are keeping yourself safe too."
"Well done! Very challenging times for everyone and I think you’re doing great considering no one knows how to deal with this new horrible virus"

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CEO Briefing January 2021

Happy New Year to all our pupils, families, staff and governors! The return of schools on Monday 4 January happened amidst one of the most challenging 72 hour periods that school leaders and governors have faced, and I’m incredibly proud of how much our academies did, and have done, to ensure pupils and families have an offer that meets their needs, especially in the face of such short notice changes. All we can do is respond to Government announcements at the point they’re made

  • we have no prior notice about what’s coming before the televised broadcasts, and we are only able to manage our way through these challenges by working together. Add in a snow day like today, and this has certainly made for an eventful start to 2021.

It is being mindful of our capacity to depend on one another in challenging times that I - with much sadness - share the tragic news that one of our pupils, Oliver Groom, died in his sleep on 10 December. Oli was 7 years old and a much loved pupil in John Wilkinson’s class at Heatherwood. Our thoughts and prayers have been with the school community and Oli’s family throughout this incredibly difficult time.

In mid December 2020, one our Directors - Naveen Judah - hit the airwaves to champion teachers and TAs efforts on the LBC radio station. I’d like to extend a big thank you to Naveen for continuing his personal campaign to raise awareness of the exceptional contribution of our workforce through these unprecedented times: we can never have enough advocacy!

Speaking of advocacy, as a Trust, we support in the strongest possible terms the schools workforce being a priority for the COVID-19 vaccination programme. We have made this clear to the Department for Education and also to our Trade Union partners. We welcome the Secretary of State’s advocacy for this in his testimony to the Education Select Committee on 13 January 2021, and we wait with (cautious) optimism that an announcement to confirm this will be made soon. Whilst we are doing all we can to maintain safe schools, priority access to the COVID-19 vaccination programme would do so much to further assure so many of our staff and our families, as the risks of COVID-19 would be, for the most part, negated. In the autumn, the Trust invested in an Influenza vaccination programme for all of our workforce, so I know we have and will continue to do as much as we can to prevent risks, as well as manage them when they arise.

With a third vaccine now approved and millions already vaccinated, I choose to believe that the darkness of 2020 and early 2021 is starkly contrasted with the shining light of hope we see climbing over the horizon. Whilst we have a way to go yet to return to the world we knew, pre-March 2020, I believe we can and will cotinine to make it through these days, together, by doing what we’ve done so well, so far: trusting in one another and never losing sight of the value of the public service we provide.

Things are changing quickly and regularly, so please ensure you all stay safe and follow the Government advice! 2 weeks down, 4 to go! As Einstein once said: “Learn from yesterday; live for today; hope for tomorrow”.

Posted in CEO Briefs on Jan 14, 2021

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