When we take on being a Governor we know that schools are complex places where there is never a dull moment! We see Headteachers and staff making thousands of decisions a day to ensure the best possible learning and welfare for all the children. We understand that teaching is a job with unique circumstances, possibilities and responsibilities.
However, none of us could have predicted what was going to happen in Spring Term 2020! All of us have had our lives turned upside down and all of us have had to make difficult decisions and choices.
At Elmhurst, as Co-Chairs of Governors we have been meeting regularly with Tracy and Mike to keep abreast of all that is happening. Governors have met by Zoom to ratify decisions, check responsibilities and discuss policies, and most importantly, welfare and education of the children.
So what have we learnt about Elmhurst?
We have confirmed that we have an amazing team of conscientious and committed people in our school. Everyone has played their part to ensure that government directives are put in place (often at very short notice), children’s needs are put first, and all are kept safe. Communication has been exceptional.
Leaders have worked tirelessly understanding the situation and putting everything from cleaning, equipment, learning and welfare into practice. They have led and motivated the staff and are always there to listen. They are brilliant problem-solvers. Whenever a new directive has arrived we have found that Tracy and Mike had already thought of it, and had contingency plans ready.
If we pick out certain groups of staff we may miss someone out. Suffice to say that ALL staff have been prepared to go the extra mile to ensure they are doing the best possible job for the children. Maybe we can just mention two groups.
As Governors we would like to thank Millfield School for the amazing hampers that they are providing for families. I know from speaking to some families that these have been an important lifeline, and it is brilliant to hear of families using the recipes to cook together. We would also like to pay tribute to the work of Andy Leafe and Emma Bartlett in supporting those who are having particularly difficult times.
And you families have been amazing! In all the hard times you have supported your children, worked with the school and responded to what has been asked of you. It has been a fearful time and it is not over, but the trust that you have shown in the school reflects the very spirit and ethos of Elmhurst. We all look out for each other. This week we have heard that teachers will keep lines of communication open in the holidays if you or your children have concerns. Yet more evidence of the care and concern for all at Elmhurst.
Now that things are beginning to ease, we hope that you all have a lovely summer holiday. We know that you can be sure that your children will be in safe hands when they return to school in September, we have seen and heard about all the preparations being put in place. We wish Year 6 every success as they move on in their learning journeys, they have a great legacy to build on.
The Governors are so proud of everyone at Elmhurst. Thank you, to you all, for everything you do.
Claire Axten and Andy Shepherd
Co-Chairs of Governors