The Anger…

I am a shaken bottle of Coke, I am a dormant volcano bursting to furious life.

Pressure builds…

Throughout the pandemic I have gently seethed, there have been moments of “GRRRR!!!!” but after mild venting, the slow unscrewing of the lid, I have settled back to relative calm frustration.

PRessure builds…

Throughout the last 10 months we have done everything asked of us, I have never had 1 member of staff refuse to work, they’ve constantly stepped up to the job despite their understandable anxieties and worries. For my part I have done everything I can to mitigate the risk, to make school as safe as we can.

PREssure builds…

We have made unworkable guidance work, we have done everything, we have followed DfE guidance to the letter. We have trusted those in power to have the safety and interests of its workforce at heart. 

PRESsure builds…

All this has been through the spotlight of a vociferous media, which has hounded and accused throughout, through social media attacks from right-wing blow-hards and government lapdogs chanting bile from the comfort of their home office to vicious audience.

PRESSure builds…

We like most schools have been hit quite hard by the virus, nine staff infected, two still not back after more than 6 weeks. Yet on twitter there are constant wombles, telling us that we could have caught it anywhere, probably at the shops. This has a had a significant impact on school and pupils.

Let me think…a 1 hour visit to the local supermarket or 25 hours a week in a class with 30 children?

PRESSUre builds…

We’ve seen the government threaten Local Authorities schools with legal action for making decisions and trying to keep their communities safe and then it what can only be seen as spite not include those areas when new lockdown decisions were made.

PRESSURe builds…

Throughout we’ve just got on with the job. Heads down, smiles on. Our staff have been magnificent. I’m so grateful for the support I’ve received from our trust. They have been utterly superb throughout. 

PRESSURE builds…

We’ve turned round a home learning offer in less than 24 hours and now have 97% engaging with it. Sadly our Secretary of state felt the need to legally threaten schools about this and make out Ofsted were going to be the DfE’siron boot. Not sure Ofsted were happy about that. We then have had the Secretary of State declare one way is best without evidence and spark a thousand parental phonecalls.

PRESSURE Builds…

We’ve been told ‘Schools are Safe’ by our at best inept Prime-minster, and then we’ve had them opened for a day risking huge transmission in January before they then had to close all schools. We then have massively increased numbers in primary due to guidance which has just flung the doors wide open.

PRESSURE BUilds…

We’ve had celebratory backslapping about devices for pupils, yet allocations were changed and most primary schools still have not received their allocation. If your bubble didn’t pop in the first half-term then you lucked out. Let’s be honest if the money had gone to schools directly this would have been solved by now. Coupled with vulnerable guidance about not being able to access online means pupils can come into school just adds to the ongoing pressure.

PRESSURE BUIlds…

There has been derisory financial support for schools both in terms of setting up schools safely but also with staffing costs due to illness. For us our biggest challenge has been due to support staff being off, we have 10 children with significant EHCP in school, we have to cover.

PRESSURE BUILds…

We’ve seen people we care about get ill sometimes seriously ill and dealt with that while trying to do the job.

PRESSURE BUILDs…

We Never Closed!

PRESSURE BUILDS…BANG!

For me however it’s the figures about school infections being higher than the average both for teachers (almost double) and support staff (much higher than that) that has been straw that has finally broken the camel’s back.

I personally need to believe that the Department of Education has the well-being and safety of all including its workforce at its heart. Fact is now we know they don’t. 

They have failed to consult, they’ve led by dictat, they’ve flipped and flopped but ultimately they’ve failed to protect the people who have done everything they can to make the departments policies and guidance work.

YES I AM ANGRY.