I am writing to you as an incredibly proud Chair at what can only be described as the most challenging period in this generation’s history.
I am sure you will join with me in recognising and thanking every member of our school team for their dedication and commitment to keeping our school open for the children of key workers. To keep the school open relies on our Breakfast Club Supervisors, Teachers, Lunchtime Supervisors, Admin staff, Catering staff, cleaners and of course, our Senior Leadership Team (Mr Myers and Mrs Cross) – all of whom are stepping up and coming into work in direct contradiction of the government guidelines to stay home. Like all key workers, they have their own families, their own vulnerable relatives and their own children to protect but not one of them has asked to be taken off the rota. They have come together as the outstanding team they are, they are supporting each other and I would expect nothing less from them.
I am also proud of our school’s approach to the crisis. I would echo the updates given recently by Mr Myers and Mrs Cross – our main concern at the moment in the psychological impact on our children, parents and community. I am proud that this is the focus of messages and activities on our website and I am proud of the messages we have received from parents who have been reassured by our approach. Please spend this precious time with your families in your household and enjoy this time rather than arguing over school work. I have every confidence that our teachers will ensure that every child achieves their full potential when they return to school.
In the midst of this crisis, our school has also joined the Durham Diocese Multi Academy Trust. With everything else that has been going on it has almost slipped under the radar somewhat. However, on 1st April 2020 we did indeed become a MAT and left Durham County Council. There has been a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes to ensure that this transfer has gone smoothly and given the huge changes that have taken place in terms of our administrative systems, financial systems, technology, policies and procedures, I have been staggered at how smooth the transfer has been – again down to the hard work of the Senior Leadership Team. They have not only led us through the Covid-19 crisis but have also led the school into a new phase in it’s history. As usual this massive piece of work has taken place quietly, behind the scenes and without any drama or fuss and due to Covid-19 without training! If the school was still open for business as usual, I am confident that parents and children would see no difference whatsoever and this is what we aimed for.
As a result of the move to the MAT, I am actually writing to you as Chair of the Academy Council. Our Governing Body has been renamed as an Academy Council and is now accountable to the overarching Academy Council of the MAT.
Therefore, it is with much pride that I thank our team for everything they are doing; I thank our families for doing their bit – staying home and staying safe; I thank the key workers in our community and I thank everyone for their continued support for our amazing school.
Dr S Haynes
Chair of Academy Council
Stanhope Barrington CofE Primary School