Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope you and your family are well. As I write the sun is shining and there is lots of blue sky which makes everyone feel so much better.
Just a quick update on the issue of Covid in our schools. Generally, the situation has significantly improved but each day we do have staff absent because they have contracted Covid. It is not as bad as earlier in the term, but neither has it gone away so there is still an impact on staffing levels. Overall, we have far less children with Covid but as testing has been halted it is hard to know the true extent of the issue. We are still asking parents to check if their child is unwell for any Covid symptoms (new continuous cough, loss of smell/taste and high temperature), and then to take them for a PCR test. Rates in Telford and Shropshire are still around the national average, and I am sure we all have friends and family who have or recently have had Covid.
As I said in my last letter, there is a big campaign by the Government focussed on school attendance, as the figures nationally of children who have not returned to school are frighteningly high. Across LCT, we are seeing really good attendance, constantly above the national figures, but we are determined to ensure children are in school. The LCT Education and Welfare Team work really closely with attendance officers in schools to support parents and families.
We are returning to normal! There are lots of assemblies happening, trips and visits are being planned for the summer term and next academic year, as well as sporting fixtures, clubs and school shows. I watched “Matalida” at Charlton just before half-term which was fantastic, and over the next few weeks HLC Secondary are performing “Back to the 80s” and Ercall Wood “Oliver”. All of these events and activities are so important to children – last week Queensway had a great time at Arthog Wales and HLC Secondary have launched an Arthog Wales trip for May.
I have also asked the Heads to look at opportunities to bring parents into school, as I am very aware that some of you have not yet had the opportunity to visit your child’s school since they started in Reception or in Year 7. I hope you will take the opportunity to come in and meet the staff who look after your child every day. That relationship between parents and school is so important and helps everyone, we need to get back to where we were 2 years ago with parents knowing staff well. We also have lots of new staff who have joined us over the last two years.
World Book Day was brilliant across the schools – some amazing costumes from children and staff to really make it a day to celebrate reading across our schools.
We do have children from Ukraine and Russia in our schools and we are supporting them as it is so hard for them to deal with, many have families in their home country. We will also be supporting with fundraising and anything else we can do over the next few weeks. It is a truly distressing situation and very difficult to watch on the news as you see families being torn apart by the war.
I look forward to seeing you over the coming weeks.
Dr. Gill Eatough