16 Jul

Graham

Over the next few days, all of our schools will be preparing to break for the summer vacation.

I’ve written in my blogs, on many occasions, just how disruptive this year has been.  Only this last week we have seen a really significant rise in positive cases and the inevitable closure of bubbles and parts of our schools.  I know it’s been really tough.  From a personal perspective our youngest son, who is in Year 10, has had a dreadful year trying to deal with home learning, restrictions when in school, the disruption of being sent home and the total chaos of it all!

I’m amazed how resilient the majority of the children and young people have been.  I know speak on behalf of our school leaders by saying we’d like to thank you for your support and notes of encouragement.

This week has been as varied as usual.  I’ve been involved in some preliminary discussions about the future of Samuel Laycock, a school we are supporting in Tameside.  It’s a super organisation with amazing children and supportive staff.  I’ve chaired a couple of meetings that explore a future closer working partnership.  This, if it happens, has the potential to really support our children at Hawthorns and more widely across Tameside.  Improved collaboration can only lead to improved outcomes.  More news to follow over the next few weeks.

On Wednesday I (virtually) chaired a National Business Managers Conference.  It proved to be a huge success with colleagues from around 150 schools debating issues such as the tribunal system, home to school transport, school finances (at length!) and shared commissioning arrangements.  There were some great ideas put forward regarding procurement and particularly how, by Trusts working together, we can make greater savings.  Greater savings equates to extra money for the children and young people.

On Thursday I was invited to New Bridge Learning Centre to attend their Leavers’ Event.  It was wonderful – thank you everyone for letting me share your day.

On Thursday I also met with one of the co chairs of Governors at Hawthorns to talk through the amazing opportunities we have secured for our children.  Can I remind you all that Tameside Council have committed up to £13 million for our new building.  I know the staff are already thinking about the potential opportunities it will bring.  We are committed to the families also playing a significant role in the process and I’ll update you as to the “how” in the next few days.

So, this will be my final blog of the academic year.  A year like no other but one that I feel we have managed as well as could be expected and stayed true to a clear principle of keeping everyone (children, young people and staff) as safe as possible.  In keeping with our Trust’s reputation, we have also continued on our journey of making every one of our schools and organisations as great as they can be.  And they truly are great – some of the best.

Truly remarkable.

Truly New Bridge Group.

Have a great summer,

Graham

You can find all Graham’s previous updates and blog entries here