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CEO Briefing February 2021

Well, we’ve passed the ‘10 million vaccinations’ milestone this week and momentum continues to build on a daily basis in the NHS roll out programme. As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, there is a plentiful offer of false news out there to distract us from the facts, so I wanted to use this briefing to just clear up some myths.

Firstly, these early rounds of the vaccination programme have targeted those most vulnerable, as well as those in health and care settings. Whilst this latter definition does not include the schools workforce, some staff who work in schools have been vaccinated because they’re either classed as being clinically vulnerable or they have identified themselves as a carer for a role they undertake outside of their school role. Right now, there is no defined plan for vaccinating the schools workforce, though we are expecting more information about this on or before 22 February.

There are reports that some councils have prioritised some schools in their areas for vaccination at this time, but councils should not be doing this. Whilst I believe this is about councils trying to be helpful, I think it’s really unhelpful at this time to have a postcode lottery of vaccinations which can breed a sense of inequality . For the schools workforce, that risks fragmenting our sector at a time when we have so much to be proud about for how we’ve all pulled together. To use an already overused term, what we need is a clear road map for vaccinating the schools workforce in the quickest and most efficient way possible.

The Board of Directors and I are actively discussing what we can do later this year to celebrate everything that all our staff have done throughout this period. As a public authority , there is clear statutory guidance for how we spend our money and what we can and cannot do (for example - we can’t pay bonuses!). However, I also want to ensure we have a plan for how we come together as a community - when we can - to have a shared means of acknowledging the hard work of our workforce through such exceptional times. Our capacity to make the extraordinary look and feel ordinary - because what our children and families need from us most of all is certainty and stability - is something that we must not overlook, nor underestimate. Naturally, our planning will be influenced by the wider societal restrictions in place, but I am very hopeful things will look and feel markedly different by the time the summer months arrive.

This half term has flown by and Easter will be here before we know it! As such, I’d like to finish this briefing by thanking everyone for all their commitment, selflessness and hard work. The achievements of this Multi Academy Trust, that we have built together, continue to make me so very, very proud.

Posted in CEO Briefs on Feb 05, 2021

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