Friday 2nd July - a message from Binks Neate-Evans, Executive Principal
I am writing to you as we edge toward the end of the summer term. I will not do a long reflection on this year until we have reached the end but I wanted to communicate and clarify for families about media stories about unnecessary closures due to outbreaks.
MIXED MESSAGING IS UNHELPFUL
It has not been helpful to the profession or communities to have messages from central government that imply schools are being 'over cautious' and 'over interpreting' the guidance that we have been directed to use to manage operations in school.
As we are part of the Evolution Trust, we can access advice and support from highly credible professional organisations about responses to the issues that school faces when seeds of doubt are planted in the public domain and amplified in the media. It is unhelpful to pit parents against their schools and we have been incredibly proud of the way you have rallied, flexed and supported in pretty difficult everchanging circumstances - every step of the way. This was unnecessary at the tail end of a very challenging year for children, their families and the schools.
The response from the Confederation of School Trusts who are highly influential and credible was as follows:
'It is completely unacceptable that an official government spokesperson has suggested that school leaders are doing anything other than following guidance. We have raised our concerns about this at the highest level of the civil service and asked for this to be corrected. We have made it clear that leaders are following government and Public Health England advice and they are doing so with diligence and fidelity to the guidance.'
I felt this may be helpful for you so that you continue to have the trust you have demonstrated so far. Please be completely reassured that we want children in school and the decision to close bubbles is taken very seriously with discussion with Public Health England.
END OF TERM ARRANGEMENTS/ADAPTATIONS
We are, of course, as you'd expect, being appropriately cautious (not overly!) as we see infections increase particularly in schools. To this end, school leaders will be communicating with you about the end-of-term arrangements including events where we may have considered having audiences.
As part of our community role, we try and pass on information for families to consider if they wish. Somebody sent this my way and I thought it might help families that may be experiencing 'Teenage Turbulence'. It is a really lovely perspective with some pretty helpful explanations too.
Dear Mom and Dad, Please stick with me. I can’t think clearly right now because there is a rather substantial section of my prefrontal cortex missing.
Enjoy the footie if that floats your boat too; I know my household will be noisy! Happy Friday and I hope you have a decent weekend that doesn't rely on the weather.