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CEO email to all staff following the Prime Minister's announcement.

Morning All,

 

I hope you are well. I like many of you sat anxiously watching the Prime Minister at 7pm last night hoping that he would lay out some clear plans to enable us to begin to return to normal. My top two wishes were the chance to interact with my wider family followed by a structured and informed approach to bringing our school community back together. Unfortunately neither of my wishes came true.

 

As you will have seen there is an initial suggestion that from 1st June the Government will look to bring children back into primary schools beginning with children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. This as you can imagine has thrown up literally hundreds of questions about how it’s possible to do this safely. We are anticipating guidance from the DFE today which we hope will offer more detail about how we might begin to tackle this including the implications for all of us as staff working in schools. I know you must all have a lot of questions. One thing is for sure at this moment in time myself and the Senior Leaders across the Trust don’t have the answers! We are hoping that in the coming days once we have this guidance we will be able to begin to form a plan about how this all might work. We will then be in a position to share it with you. I know waiting and listening to all the speculation builds anxiety but please try and be patient as we try and find a way through. At this point in time nothing has changed for us- the key worker and vulnerable children lists remain unchanged, the rotas stay in place and we continue to offer the emergency childcare that has become our new norm. One thing you can be confident in is that we will not be opening our doors to children and families until we believe we can do it safely. And by that I mean everyone’s safety; children, parents and staff. I am in regular contact with a large number of school leaders and many of them feel exactly the same way. The decision to open a school ultimately rests with me not the DFE and if I can’t be sure it’s safe I won’t do it. Many of my colleagues and other Trusts leaders are taking the same approach. I’ve been really impressed by the work of many of the teaching unions and they seem to really understand our concerns and we need to trust in them to challenge the DFE and represent our worries.

 

I have been overwhelmed with our response to this crisis. To put it simply you’ve all been amazing! I know we all want a return to normal, to welcome our children back and to rejoin our school families, however we need to make sure we do this when the time is right and when we can do it safely. I will endeavour to keep you all updated as I’m sure your school leaders will. Thank you for all that you are doing. The online learning and social media presence of our Trust is absolutely phenomenal. Keep doing what you’re doing and let the leaders worry about the next steps. We will get through this together.

 

Very Best Wishes

Gavin

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