Notes from the Chair – FINAL EDITION

July notes – my last as Chair of WBPHA

We can. We will. We are. 

What schools have done in 2020-21 is the stuff of fantasy. Never before has so much been asked of school leaders. As we inch towards the most well earned summer break in our careers, we do so in the sure and certain knowledge that without us, society may well have crumbled under the weight of repeated uncertainty, ineptitude and indecision. For us all, the summer of 2021 must be one of rest, recharging and renewal. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.


With over 600,000 children identified to be self isolating, the government has confirmed that the bubble system will end from 19th July. Most schools will actually change very little before the end of term. However, we watch this space for guidance about how this change, and the end of isolation for children and adults who are double jabbed from 16th August will impact school organisation in September. For now, the step 4 guidance to schools is here.

What shall we teach

Many heads will be mindful that the pandemic has created a need to prioritise curriculum content. Much has been written about this from a number of sources. Most recently, the DfE has published ‘Teaching a broad and balanced curriculum for education recovery’. It gives top tips for content for each NC subject domain. Sign posted by Berkshire Teaching Alliance director Elaine Ricks-Neal and Donna Fox at WBC, the document is being seen as a must read for school leaders. Luckily for the independently minded, it is non-statutory but nevertheless, a document worthy of your time.

The moral test

There are plenty of quotes from the world’s great religions and secular sources alike about how society should be judged. Whatever the source, the common theme is that how we approach the young, the old, the infirm and those in the ‘shadows of life’ is the moral test. After 18 months of pandemic, it remains unclear whether this government means what it says about unlucky children who find themselves at a disadvantage. However, I urge every school leader to think ‘disadvantage first’ in all that they do. This blog and this blog from Dr Dan Nichols give this context. As do the Marc Rowland blogs signposted by Donna Fox this week (here and here). If not these children, then who?


It’s coming home … and they’re staying home!

Step 4 – what it means for schools

FINAL Zoom Breakfast – Thursday 15th July 0800 – Summer Quiz

Subs 21-22 – please process invoices asap before the end of term.

Safeguarding Briefing – Andrew Hall – 5th July

Ofsted handbook September 2021 – Full

Ofsted handbook September 2021 – Safeguarding 

DfE National Funding Formula  – Consultation began 8th July

Dear England – Gareth Southgate

High Performance Podcast – Guest – Gareth Southgate

“An excellent school is high performing in all aspects of its life and work. It has a distinctive influence on children’s and young people’s lives. Attention to detail matters. Staff will always go that extra mile to ensure that an upset child is cared for or a pupil is best prepared for an interview or examination. Staff believe that almost anything is possible: whatever the barrier a child may present, excellent schools find a way through”Roy Blatchford  – Article

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