Confronting challenges

I am sure that all of us are facing challenges currently, both in work and at home, as we have continually to adapt to a situation which affects so many aspects of our lives. As the national picture deteriorates, I feel particularly for those of you who live in Leicester and who have been subject to local restrictions since lockdown.

At school, we have been used to making all sorts of new decisions since the crisis began. Many of those decisions are complex as we seek above all to prioritise safety but to balance that with our children’s need for as full an experience of education as possible in the circumstances – especially as they were out of school for so many weeks. This week has been hard, as we have had to ask year groups to self-isolate and as we have done our utmost to take account of all the facts and then to follow the advice of our Public Health team. Having asked Year 9 to go home on Wednesday, we were informed of a positive test in Year 13, and have decided that they too should all self-isolate over the weekend as we monitor the situation and can confirm whether a proportion of that year group can return on Monday.

It is sometimes said that the job of a leader is lonely, as he or she is responsible for making those tough decisions, when there is sometimes no perfectly right answer. I do feel the weight of that responsibility, but I am surrounded by an excellent team of staff who counsel and support me and never hesitate to do what is in the best interests of our pupils. They have immediately switched to remote teaching for those who are out of school and will flex in whatever way they can as circumstances dictate. I am very grateful to them.

So, I hope that you too feel the support of others in the challenges you are confronting. Situations are sometimes beyond our control, but, as we work together, we can always manage our response and find creative and positive solutions in the face of adversity.

Best wishes,

John Watson
Headmaster and Principal