Heads in Somerset ready to welcome pupils back

Somerset Head Teachers have issued a resounding message to pupils across the county – “School is the best place for you, we can’t wait to see you back”.

As education leaders prepare for the return of all pupils from September, work has already begun to ensure parents and pupils are reassured and feel positive about the coming autumn term following months of home educating for many pupils during the coronavirus crisis.

In the spirit of the time five Heads came together to issue a special message to pupils on behalf of all Somerset Head Teachers to reassure them and prepare them for September when conversations can finally be enjoyed face to face once again between staff and pupils.

Mathew Vella, Head of St Michael’s Academy in Yeovil, who took part in the video said: “As Head Teachers we can assure parents that we will be looking after each and every one of our pupils – we’ve got their backs.”

Emma Wilkes, Head Teacher of Oakfield Academy in Frome also took part, along with Mark Ruffett, Head of Selworthy School in Taunton, and Natalie Hanna, Head of Mendip School in Prestleigh, and Morwenna Dunstan, Head Teachers at St Mary’s CofE School in Bridgwater.

“It might look a bit different in schools at first, and it might feel a bit strange after being away for so long – that’s why we wanted to say a few words of reassurance,” said Morwenna Dunstan.

“We’ve been doing everything we can to make sure it’s safe for when children return.”

Emma Wilkes said: “It’s really important for children to be back – it’s not just about learning. Being in school is best for children’s health and wellbeing, it’s great to be with their friends again and it’s vital to re-establish routines.”

Most schools will have been in touch or will be contacting parents shortly to explain how settings and the school day will need to be adapted to ensure the safety of pupils and staff.

“Our education leaders and staff have been doing an incredible job over the last few months, working flat-out to ensure non-stop provision for children of key workers and vulnerable children and then growing that provision as restrictions allowed. Schools have been running throughout this crisis and in recent weeks they’ve been working hard to ensure they ready for September. There really has been no let-up to the demands placed on them.  I’d like to give them my heartfelt thanks, on behalf of everyone in Somerset,” said Cllr Faye Purbrick, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education.

“This is a lovely message from Head Teachers to children across the county and it backs up what we all know – it’s vital pupils get back in the classroom in September, it’s best for their health and wellbeing, for their future and the future of the county.”

You can see the video here https://youtu.be/m9x3cifSkMQ or on @SomersetCouncil on Twitter.