Head’s Weekly Reflections
I dip my toe with caution into political waters but, in a fit of exasperation, I wrote to The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.
‘I take my hat off and applaud the teaching profession for their commitment to children in adapting to current and ongoing circumstances to provide as safe a school environment as possible. Schools should remain open as much and for as long as possible.
We have created bubbles, one way systems, adopted hygiene measures and a plethora of other practices to provide ongoing education, pastoral and emotional care. We have forged our way through sometimes contradictory, sometimes impenetrable guidance, seeking advice from professional associations, medical and legal authorities. After such a long absence it’s great to be back – felt by pupils, teachers and parents.
Today’s DfE indication of ‘guidance’ for boarding schools wins the prize for incoherence: national lockdown prevents boarders from returning home. In our context we have flexi-boarders. Boarding capacity has been reduced to enable distancing and boarders only mix within their own bubble. Day pupils within the same bubble may return home to their families; yet boarders may not. I fail to see the logic.’
Fortunately the letter was not published as the position had changed by Wednesday evening: ‘Residential providers should support students to reduce travel between home and educational accommodation unless absolutely necessary. Where students normally travel between their boarding school and home at the weekend during term time for the purpose of education, this is allowed.’
Our flexi-boarding, we have been informed, may continue uninterrupted. With eager anticipation we await direction advising how day pupils might reduce their travel between home and school.