In this section
14th July 2020
Dear parents and carers
As we reach the end of this school year, I want to bring you up to date on plans for September and to pay tribute to all members of our Brigshaw Learning Partnership Community who have got us this far.
You will no doubt be aware that the government have published guidance to enable schools to open to all children in September. All of our schools are currently working through the guidance, risk assessments and Health and Safety requirements in order to open in September to all pupils. We all desperately hope that conditions remain favourable so we can welcome back all of our pupils. We have missed them and want to have them all back in school safely. We would love to return to ‘business as usual’, but we know that is still some way off. Our schools will have to take many, many steps to comply with national guidance. Each school is unique in its context, size, layout etc and your headteachers will share their plans for September with you in the near future. These plans will be kept under close scrutiny through the summer in case we need to change things and schools will give you final confirmation again in August.
One area we do not feel ready to return to is provision of ‘before and after school’ clubs. Unfortunately, we do not feel we can offer those in September. Our priority in September is to welcome back all children and do everything we can to keep as many of them in school as much as possible. We are concerned that our ‘out of school’ child care offer could affect a wider number of children and classes if a Covid-positive case is identified. We need to start with our basics and build from there if, and when, we can. We know this will be a blow to many families and apologise sincerely for the problems this may cause you. But we hope you understand that we have to prioritise re-opening for all pupils for our statutory hours. Your schools will keep you informed as we get into the new academic year about the possibilities for out of school clubs.
I want to end the year paying tribute once again to all groups of our community. I want to thank our children and young people first. Throughout our schools, teachers have praised the resilience and enthusiastic attitude of our children. Those who have returned to school have been a delight to teach and those who have had to remain at home have continued to be positive, resourceful and wonderful. In particular, we wish every success to our ‘leavers’ – our Year 6, Year 11 and Year 13 students who have had so many of the traditional ‘rites of passage’ taken away. These young people deserve the very best in their next stages of learning and life. As adults in our communities, we should feel so proud of all of our young people and feel tremendous hope for a future led by them. Our commitment in every school is a promise to celebrate their achievements this year, respect the individual journey they have experienced and set out on a new journey in partnership with them.
I mentioned in a previous letter the debt we all owe to every family in our community. Your journey in unchartered waters has been extraordinary and must have been bewildering and exhausting at times. Thank you on behalf of all Brigshaw Learning Partnership colleagues for everything you have done to create a ‘new normal’ for your children and thank you in advance for your work in preparing them for the next phase of our lives. Our commitment to you is a promise to recognise the learning experiences you created, whatever they were, and begin your children’s journey ahead from there.
It is hard to do justice to how proud I am of all of the colleagues who work in our schools across the Brigshaw Learning Partnership. Every member of staff, whatever their role, has been determined to make a difference and help make things better in some way. The team work, collaboration and creativity have been wonderful to see. Staff have stepped far beyond their comfort zones to do what needed to be done and to put our children first. Every member of staff in every role has played a vital part in helping to get our new version of school going and to support children and families in these difficult times. It has been humbling to see staff conquer their own anxieties in order to support children and wonderful to see their joy and relief as we began to welcome children back into our schools. There is palpable excitement about September and staff are busy planning and preparing for the new school year.
My heartfelt thanks go to the leaders and governors of our schools who have borne the weight of the responsibility and have been the problem-solvers. Our headteachers have taken their responsibilities very seriously indeed. Supported by governing bodies and talented leadership teams, they have grappled with endless guidance documents and responded daily to the changing directives. Their work is characterised by one thing: trying to make the best decisions for our children, families and staff. They have really appreciated the feedback and support you and your children have given them as they grappled with impossible decisions.
My final tribute goes to a small group of colleagues who are rarely mentioned; the small central team of the Brigshaw Learning Partnership. We are a very small organisation as we channel as much funding as possible into our schools and classrooms. But this small team has covered all of the work undertaken by much larger teams in other trusts. This team has risen superbly to the challenges we have faced and ensured that our schools have received the support they have needed in these uncertain times. They are thoroughly committed to our community and go above and beyond every day to provide opportunities to deliver our mission statement, Success and Respect for All.
Wishing every member of the Brigshaw Learning Partnership community peace and health in the summer. Looking forward to working with you in September, whatever it brings.
Chief Education Officer
Please click here to view BLP Risk assessment for re-opening of schools
COVID-19: Guidance for Education Settings
The Department for Education have set up a helpline that is now available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents, carers and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Finally, the best way to tackle the challenge posed by Coronavirus is by following Public Health England’s advice, for example on hand washing, and reducing the impact and spread of misinformation by relying on information from trusted sources, such as that on www.nhs.uk and www.gov.uk.