Returned to work on Monday with the staggered start extended only for a full national lockdown from this morning to be in force. Schools closed to the majority of students, but open for vulnerable or key worker children.
Meanwhile schools have to be cleaned, sanitized, all normal operational tasks, difficult to do from home, still have to be done. Add to that to set up a testing venue for those in school, with a view to mass test when the whole school can return.
Free school meal provision has to be sorted and maintained, queries to be dealt with out of normal school hours. The offer of IT equipment and subsequent orders, but the infrastructure struggles to keep up with the demand, and IT teams struggling with the 24/7 queries re software/hardware etc.
New ways to log attendance both remotely and in person. Online learning to be rolled out- where from, who to, what resources are needed?Well-being checks by phone to provide some human contact, to seek solutions to any concerns or issues, whilst reassuring and comforting students and parents, and also our staff community and aware of impact on their wellbeing. We, like the students, want to be in school, want to do our jobs, see the students grow and develop, and celebrate success.
For me, it’s the not seeing an end in sight, data provided on graphs, tables, stats, briefings all painting a bleak picture. We have the vaccine, there is a plan but as always red tape can scupper these, which heightens anxiety and does little to propel us forward.
Hopefully there will be progress in the next few weeks that will see levels fall and vaccinations exceeding those planned. As we approach the harsher weather elements of the winter season we can look to nature to provide glimmers of rebirth and new beginnings as the bulbs begin to show as do the new buds on plants and trees. Seeing this always brings me joy: something we need in bucket loads. We need to be positive, calm and measured with what we have to do, and find within ourselves the strength to play our part in the solution.