A(nother) term like no other

Gregg Davies, one of our Education Directors, addresses parents across the Bellevue family of schools with his Christmas letter.

Well done parents! You have reached the end of term. A term, like the previous one, which none of us ever thought we would experience.

The challenges for everyone associated with our schools have been significantly different to any we have met before. Each week, and in some schools each day, there have been issues which the heads and their colleagues have never encountered before and they have had to make decisions quickly for the safety of the children. All decisions have been made with the very best intentions of keeping our children and staff safe from the coronavirus. This has meant that parents have had to trust the school leaders like never before and we, at Bellevue central office do not take that trust for granted and we want to thank you.

The majority of our schools have had to deal with an infection case, either amongst the staff or the children. Like all schools in the UK, they have had to make decisions, which have put pressure on parents when children have had to stay at home; pressure on school staff as they have had extra teaching commitments and duties; and pressure on the children at school as they have had to adapt to regular changes in routine. They have done this whilst trying to work in conjunction with Public Health England (PHE) and juggling the increasing mental health needs of the children and staff. Sometimes heads have been in disagreement with the first suggestion made by PHE telephone operators, and have been robust in their argument that large numbers of children should not be sent home: never has the definition of “close contact” been so hotly contested! Bellevue schools have fought hard to ensure that children are kept at school wherever possible.

Patience has been thoroughly tested this term and I believe that all of us have passed. I suspect you will have learned more about Bellevue this term too. The three Education Directors have been travelling around the country providing support for school leaders whilst checking and challenging them. In a strange way, we have enjoyed the challenges. Challenge does, after all, Create Character!

A very merry Christmas to you all.