Under the circumstances it’s been quite a good week.
Many of our schools have had their Governing Body meetings. Obviously we have had to revert to a virtual meeting, through Microsoft teams.
The content of the meetings varies widely but a number of agenda items are consistent. They always start with a review of the minutes from the previous meeting and ensure any matters arising have been actioned. Obviously most of the discussions here revolved around risk assessments and COVID.
However, one interesting area that has kept arising was how, collectively, we are going to learn from the pandemic. There has been a constant discussion.
What appears to have become apparent, and was mentioned at all the meetings was the need, in the future, to explore how the children and young people could benefit from a new and improved delivery model.
The opportunity to extend our curriculum for all children has never been as exciting. Clearly we need frontline staff supporting and building relationships. However, it’s essential to use our learning over the last few months to further explore (to name but a few):
- virtual teaching of minority subjects
- music, art, movement (etc.) therapy on line
- practical and vocational subject extension
- looking at more appropriate online courses and accreditation
- cross site virtual teaching
- delivering subjects at different times of the day depending on the needs of the child and family
- extending the specialist school offer to support children in mainstream schools
- empowering children and young people to use assistive access to take more control over their surroundings
I could go on and on.
Obviously with our close relationship with Apple, and our ambition for our Trust to be the first Apple Distinguished MAT in the country, we are well placed to lead on this work. It will happen.
The second consistent area that was discussed was that of “Wellbeing”. We have tinkered around the edges of wellbeing for too long. We now need to “take the bull by the horns” and co-construct a robust and secure policy. We will make working with our children and young people, within our organisations, the most attractive job in the region. We will be bold and ambitious. We will attract, retain and reward the very best staff to work with our families and partners. It’s going to be a huge undertaking and is likely to take years not months – but we have to start some time. Why not in the New Year?
I really hope that this last week of the term passes without disruption. I know we’ve some “socially distanced” parties planned, alongside nativities and other performances. We’ve also Christmas markets complete with hand gel and restricted movements! There’s still lots going on and I know the organisations will do their best to keep you in the loop. Please be aware we have decided NOT to close on Friday for an extra training day (as widely reported in the media). Business as usual.
As always thank you for your continued support and can I also thank all our Governors for their continued guidance. We’ve certainly needed it over the last year or so.
Take care and stay safe,
You can find all Graham’s previous updates and blog entries here