"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 April 2018

A big welcome back to you all after an eventful Easter break.

As many of you will already be aware, I am delighted that we have been approved by the Secretary of State to open two new, free special schools—one in Sheffield and one in Doncaster. This will bring an extra 160—200 (and much needed!) places to the special school system in South Yorkshire. The coming weeks and months will bring a lot of new work our way, though we have such talent across all our academies and in the central Trust team that I am 100% certain we will deliver the best schools we can!

All free school projects come with additional grant funding in pre-opening and there is an expectation that a project manager is appointed to oversee the building and development of the schools, so I will be advertising soon to ensure we can get up and running ASAP.

I’d like to thank Richard Webster and Tracey Brooke for their hard work on pulling the applications together with me. Additionally, David McNaught provided a lot of input to our Doncaster application and Jacky Tattershall was the architect of the first draft of the application we then adapted for both schools (you may recall we worked up a free school application for Rotherham last year which we're still waiting to submit!), so it really has been a team effort. Thank you all!

Clearly parents, carers and children from Sheffield and Doncaster will play a big part in co-producing the schools’ offer with us and I’m looking forward to meeting with them in due course to ensure they’re actively involved. When I think about the expertise and enthusiasm we have across our Trust and the new partners who want to work with us, I feel really confident that we can have two new schools that are shaped by a really wide range of stakeholders.

After a busy Easter “break”, it was so inspiring to come back on Monday 9th April to open (and close) the inaugural Nexus MAT Conference, which was our first shared INSET across Abbey, Hilltop and Kelford schools. It was a big room at Magna that we filled to bursting and so far I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback about it. Jill Walker needs to take the credit for coordinating the event and making it the success it was, and Wayne Askham, Jill Newbolt, Viki Drew, Carl Haag, David Burdett and Rob Mulvey all brought what’s great about their schools to workshops which were really well attended and which staff have feedback really positively about.

I can’t wait for next year when Pennine View and Crags’ staff join us—we’re definitely gonna need a bigger boat!

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Posted in CEO Briefs on Apr 12, 2018

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