Dear Parents and Carers,
This is my last letter of 2021 as we break up for the Christmas holidays. It has been a year that I will never forget with all the challenges we have had to deal with and a term which has again been challenging and demanding for everyone. The great news is that we have managed to keep our schools fully open and providing the best education and care we can to our children and young people despite the disruption caused by Covid on staffing and children.
I know you will join with me in recognising the incredible hard work and commitment of our staff across our schools. Many of them have been unwell or had significant challenges in their own lives but they have come to work and done the very best for our children. I cannot thank them enough for the effort they have made, and I know we have some very tired staff who deserve a break! There has been lots of fantastic activities and events going on in schools all term to provide that enrichment and experiences they all so enjoy.
Our parents have been brilliant and really supported when we have had to introduce changes and adapt to the situation with the pandemic, often quickly and with little warning. I just wanted to thank you for working with us and understanding that we do everything in the best interests of the children in our care. We have had to deal with Covid and the responses expected from schools, which none of us were trained to do such as, mass testing and operating schools very differently, but making sure children are catching up and learning at the right pace
Looking forward it is hard to know what we will be facing in January. I am fairly sure the PM will not close schools again and I strongly believe this should not happen, but the speed Omicron is spreading is very concerning. I do urge you and your family to get vaccinated or have the booster so you are as protected as you can be. Please do continue with LFTs at home over the holiday and we will be testing all secondary students as they return to school in January.
I have met with our Principals and Headteachers this morning and we will be keeping the situation under review and making decisions if we need to the weekend before school starts on the 4th January for Severndale but the 5th January for all our other schools. Please keep an eye out for updated information on the 3rd January through email and social media.
I wish you all a Merry, Healthy Christmas and we must look forward to 2022 as the year we really get through this!
My best wishes to you and your family.
Dr Gill Eatough