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Running through the finish line

6th July 2020

It is common in sport, and in many other aspects of life, to use the adage ‘run through the finish’. In considering the 100m sprint, the clearest piece of advice is to run through the finish line, not to it. In school leadership, the weeks before the end of term feel like a crescendo – not a diminuendo. This year is perhaps the strongest case in point. Last week was a clear example of this building. JGC and Headteachers’ meetings were held, as too was our Board meeting. The sense of urgency, commitment and support was palpable. A real sign of being ‘better together’.

Guidance regarding the planned full opening in September has challenges for schools, particularly secondary schools. Thank you for all your continued support for the advice given and the redrafting of plans, risk assessments and health and safety documentation. A little reminder: to keep us informed as to your plan and any adjustments to bubbles in these last few weeks, potential cases and your plans for September, we will use usual trustee sign-off patterns for school planning for next academic year. Please look out for updated advice on how to undertake this. We will meet informally with heads to discuss and share considerations this week to support schools, share best practice and clarify procedures.

Running beyond the line is also being undertaken in all matters non-Covid. Virtual parents evenings, transition events, staff induction sessions, timetable planning and admissions procedures are all in full swing. These are crucial tasks and this year, as important as ever. We are unable to begin in September without this vital work, and it is wonderful to see that, despite the current challenges, all schools and colleagues are advancing these areas of work calmly and purposefully. Governors also play an important part in preparing for an effective academic year.

Thank you to all colleagues for running through the line. For working harder than ever. For thinking about providing effectively for children next year – by getting our finish right over the next few weeks. Finishing well allows for a purposeful holiday (vital!) and a brilliant start.

Jack Mayhew, Executive Headteacher  Athena Schools Trust

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