May Update - 22.05.2020
22nd May 2020
Dear Parents, Carers and Families,
I hope that you have all safely enjoyed this really sunny week!
I thought that I would start with some good news this week! I have successfully appointed five new teachers who will be in post in our growing school from September. They will all be an asset to us and all bring a wealth of differing experiences and skill. As a school we believe in ‘growing our own’ teachers and I am delighted that three of those appointments have gained their PGCE through working at Red Kite alongside our more experienced teachers.
I continue to work on our new Sixth Form Unit which will be called the Red Kite Lookout and I am attending virtual meetings and social distancing on site assessments as we drive this project forward. The design and plans are all approved and ground work will start on the build in the next month. I will make sure that I post some pictures as it goes up!
Whilst we have been in lockdown the class teachers have been writing your child’s Annual Report; I am currently reading all 100 and adding my comments to them and these will be with you after the Half Term break; I really hope that you enjoy reading about your child’s achievements at Red Kite. These will be sent out to you in the post.
It is fair to say that since Boris Johnson announced his intention to begin to reopen schools to more pupils there has been a whirlwind of media coverage as to how schools will manage this and how the Department for Education will support schools in doing this. There are many so called ‘experts’ on this but many of them have never worked in a school. I very rarely comment on political decisions but the way the profession has been treated by the DFE falls way short of the professional dialogue which we were hoping to have. To date, the guidance that we have received has been woolly, delayed and hastily put together with very little time for schools to process and respond. If I were to run our school like this I am sure I would have a queue of parents wanting to take this up with me. To date, there still is very little scientific evidence that confidently supports the phased reopening of schools, which I was hoping would be in place so that we can proceed with our plans in good faith. So, the big debate over the past few days has been whether it is safe to open schools to children other than those of key workers or classed as vulnerable. However, this isn’t quite the right question to be asking. There will never be no risk. In a world where Covid-19 remains present in the community, it’s about how we reduce that risk, just as we do with other kinds of daily dangers, like driving and cycling. What we should be asking is whether schools are to open; is it safe to open Red Kite?
Your feedback this week has been so valuable to us as we move forwards and the consensus from you all is about safety being paramount; your messages about ensuring the safety of my staff as well as your children have been humbling. I, along with SLG, are doing our utmost to keep us all safe. At the very outset I have always said that the safety of our children, staff and parents will be the top priority in all of our plans. Taking into account the latest Government guidance, I am working on being in a position to be able to share with you an overview of how we intend to accommodate the Government's request to increase the number of pupils in our school. These plans will be considered and deliberated at great length with the Governing Body and the Trust and we will only open when we have their full approval.
We will be looking over the next two weeks at how we can open a small provision to those families who do want a place; we aim that this will be from the 8th June and will be in touch with you individually about what we can offer. Our school will remain closed until Monday 8th June to all children other than those of keyworkers and vulnerable pupils. We have a large site and it is simply not possible for us to have our classrooms set up, our social distancing measures in place and these measures tested before then. Our current care provision will continue to operate from Tuesday 2nd June. Finally, I am aware that returning to work is a priority for many of you, I am aware that this will not provide a solution for all of you, but for now, this is what we believe is the safest and right way forward for all children and staff in our school. I hope that you understand our decisions and that you will continue to support us in providing for all of our children, whether they are on the school site or not. As always, we miss you all and we miss your children so very much!
Take care and stay safe and well,
Ps. For Half Term photos, please carry on showing us your ‘reading’ – what’s the most unusual place you can read a book?