Firstly can I say thank you and well done to all of the school staff and leaders who have behaved with dedication, professionalism and love in extraordinary circumstances in the last week or so. These are unprecedented times and it has taken phenomenal leadership and bravery for schools to hold their communities together and continue to provide support and education to children and families. Thank you also to the wonderful teams at Leeds City Council who have worked so hard to provide support, direction and resources to help to co-ordinate a city-wide approach. Of course, in such an unpredictable situation, not every response or plan will be perfect and no doubt there will be misunderstandings along the way, but the key thing is to work together and to communicate clearly and regularly. It is also important that school staff are given the same levels of protection from infection as everyone else and that means that children should only be coming into school if they absolutely have to: That is if their parents are key workers as defined here – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision – and there is no other way of children being looked after at home safely. If families ignore this then the risk of infection is much higher and schools are more likely to have to close completely.
I have been semi-detached from much of the effort around this as I have had to self-isolate with my family due to there being some symptoms in the house and two severe asthmatics. So thank you to those in my teams who have been picking up the slack whilst I have been incapacitated. Keep up the good work everyone!