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Dear parents and carers,

Twelve months on from the beginning of the COVID pandemic, we approach a very different end of term 4 and I attach our Trust’s Pillars of Excellence Newsletter for you to read at your leisure.

It has been a joy to witness how our students have returned more widely to our Trust’s schools and divisions through March; to see our corridors, classrooms and fields vibrant with the buzz of young people interacting and learning face to face again. There have been so many highlights over the past few weeks, many of which you will read about in our Newsletter, but none more so than the fact that attendance across our schools has hovered around an average of 95%; comfortably above the national average and a real testament to the resilience of your children, our students, and their determination to get back to school and make the most of the opportunities available to them.

As always, I cannot let this opportunity pass without thanking you, our parental community, for your unwavering support, positivity and constructive voice in helping us continuously review our planning through this most challenging period. I hope you will never underestimate the crucial role you have played in helping us get things as right as we can, as quickly as we can, as often as we can over this last year. For many reasons it is a period in our lives, in fact our history, that will never be forgotten. I know that I speak on behalf of all my colleagues across our Trust, when I say how much it has felt like we have faced these challenges together as one big team; a team of young people, staff, all of our families and all of our communities pulling together. For that commitment and togetherness we will always be grateful and immensely proud of what we have achieved, collectively, since the COVID pandemic begun last year.

As we prepare for next term you will have already been contacted directly by our Heads of Schools outlining the various operational and logistical detail for when our students return on 19 April, including the ongoing plans for families engaging in home testing through the break. I hope, also, that many of our students and families might engage in the activities we are offering across our Trust through our Youth, Community and Extended Services Team during the holiday. I know that lots of families are already booked in!

The green shoots of summer are beginning to show; the vaccination programme is developing at pace and the government’s ‘Roadmap’ will continue to be monitored carefully at every stage. As you flick through the achievements of our students in this Newsletter, including some of our Alumni, you will see no indication of a generation who have been “written off,” and you will see no sign that these young people are “lost.” What you will see is a generation even more determined to be the best that they can be; a generation that are accepting the challenges they have faced and continue to embrace how they might feel; a generation that can also be absolutely assured they will receive our complete and total support at every turn.

COVID has reminded us of many things; that the beauty of the human spirit will always be victorious, and what can be achieved when a nation, indeed a world, pulls together.

Our children won’t be written off, they won’t be lost. As you will see…they’re only just getting started!

My very best wishes to you and all of your families for Easter,


Jon Watson
Trust Executive Principal