I am very proud of my profession, my colleagues and my union.
I’m writing as NAHT President and as a serving school leader.
I’ve always known how dedicated, resilient and innovative school leaders are. I’ve seen it first-hand throughout my career and particularly during my year as President.
Even so, over the past few days, I’ve been astonished at just how deep this goes as our profession responded at speed to the Government’s call. Through that response came huge selflessness and willingness to go above and beyond knowing that our work is essential at this time of national crisis.
Our response demonstrated the qualities of great leadership. Have you reflected on what you did last week?
Can you count how many decisions you made and explained last week under pressure? How many children, parents and staff did you calm, reassure and inform?
You steered a clear course through confusion, frustration and fear and that requires the highest levels of physical, social and emotional energy.
I hope you have taken some time out this weekend to breathe, to think and to rest.
NAHT’s response has been impressive. Paul and his teams have been working tirelessly to make sure guidance reaches you swiftly.
We will continue to lobby the Government to exert greater control over access to school, strengthening the message that only a very limited number of children should need our care; those who are vulnerable and unsafe and those of key workers who have been left with no other choice.
As public servants central to communities, school staff are a front-line service and should be supported and encouraged like our NHS colleagues.
Colleagues, the full weight of what is happening is only just sinking in and it’s not like anything we have known before.
Please stay strong and be confident in your decisions. Your union is alongside you.
First published 22 March 2020