Dear Parent and Carers
We find ourselves, again, waiting for government guidance on how we reopen in September. From what is leaking out through the papers at the moment, it seems that we will be able to open with our full cohorts and that there will be no requirements for social distancing in classrooms. This is all press speculation at the moment, but it is encouraging that we can plan for everyone back, albeit with a range of measures to mitigate risk of spreading the virus.
What I fear is that as soon as the guidance is issued, it will trigger another very public row between the government and the teaching unions – something which only serves to damage our profession. I am heartily sick of watching these arguments go back and forth and – whether it’s the way they are reported or whether these things really are said by the main protagonists – I can’t relate to any of it.
I make no secret of my opinion that the government has made a mess of education through this pandemic; demonstrating little understanding of the system they are responsible for and showing even less interest in listening to the profession. It’s quite obvious they have not had a coherent plan to get kids back to school. However, I also make no secret of how appalled I have been by the letters sent to me and other head teachers by the main teaching unions with thinly veiled threats of potential legal action if I dare to disagree with them and open my school to any extra students. I can only conclude that this is an ideological battle between the very senior people in the unions and government, where your kids and the wider profession have been completely forgotten.
Now, contrast this with the experience I have had within Myton School. An experience that is retold by every head teacher I speak to. The staff who teach and take care of your children have been ready to do anything required of them from the very start of this crisis. Not one single member of the nearly 200 staff here at Myton has shown anything but loyalty to the school and our students. There has been no resistance from anybody, no matter what we ask of them – and we do bombard our staff with many demands in response to the piecemeal guidance issued by the Department for Education. Every member of staff here has shown an understanding that we are a public service and we will do whatever is required in September to get all your kids back into school as safely as possible.
So when the guidance is eventually issued next week about how we open in September, and the inevitable arguments start in the press, please rest assured that your child’s teachers and support staff continue to put themselves forward to do anything asked of them – I couldn’t be more proud and grateful.
Andy Perry – Head TeacherClick here to return to the current newsletter