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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by hs9981, Sep 17, 2020.
The HT agrees that nobody broke any lockdown rules at that time by going to the party.
He says that had he known it was going ahead he would have told his staff (on holiday at the time) to not attend (in their own time) because he personally has been working so hard to get everyone back to work.
Maybe he is just cross he wasn't invited?
Possibly telling that he wasn't given that it seems to be a small school.
Such leadership - slagging off your staff on the school website.
And on the internet.
I can feel and sympathise with his frustration. However, nobody set out to catch it or to break guidelines. Wrong place wrong time
Normally I object to threads about fellow professionals who have made it into the press for something negative, because I am acutely aware that the same could happen to me, to my colleagues, to my school community.
However, I think I'll make an exception here. It is not often that I am shocked at the conduct of a HT, I thought I'd seen it all.
For convenience, I'm pasting his letter here, which is publicly accessible from the front page of the school website. Too much cookying about on the link in the OP, let's cut to the chase and see what he actually said.
(I should add, If I worked there, I would wish to leave)
"Tuesday 15th September 2020,
A LETTER TO EVERY PARENT FROM THE HEADTEACHER
I have always tried to be straight and honest with parents, as I believe that is the right thing to do. In that spirit, I would like you to take some time to read the contents of this letter.
The events of the last 4 days have left me wondering what has gone wrong in the school. For there to be such a large number of school staff infected with Covid-19 given the amount of time and effort that I, and others, have put into planning the safety procedures for the return of children to the school, I simply could not understand how so many staff could be struck down, and spent many hours over the weekend trying to work it out.
Yesterday, I was made aware of something that shed a clear light on the possible reason. It was brought to my attention, that a significant number of staff had attended a social event at the home of a former colleague on Saturday 5th September. The event was also attended by people not from Holy Trinity.
In doing so they were not breaking any of the Lockdown rules in place at the time, but what they did do was jeopardise the hard work that had been put in creating bubbles within school, and numerous cleaning and organisational protocols, by mixing with each other.
Had I been aware of the event I would have told them that they should not attend because of the risks, but sadly I was not informed.
Given that to date eight of the staff members who attended the event have contracted Covid-19, and a further three, who did not attend, have subsequently been infected during this week most likely as a result of working in close proximity to those infected at the event, the dangers of attending such events has been brought into sharp focus. The virus can be picked up at any time and in any place, and it is now clear that the school’s procedures are robust and not at fault for the outbreak.
I have made my feelings of disappointment known to the staff who attended the event. I have also apologised to those of my colleagues who did not attend, especially to those who have now contracted the virus. They have made no mistakes, but will possibly suffer being viewed with suspicion by you.
In normal circumstances I will do everything that I can to support and defend the actions of the staff of the school. They work very hard for your children and are dedicated to making their time at Holy Trinity as fruitful and enjoyable as possible.
On this occasion, I cannot defend the error of judgement that they made. They failed to appreciate the bigger picture of Covid-19 and knowing each of them as I do, I know each will be genuinely regretting the decision they took to attend what last year would have been an enjoyable event, but in the current situation was an ill-advised action to take, given their responsibilities to the children of the school and to their colleagues. A risk was taken by them in attending as a group, and that risk has come to pass due to the presence of someone with Covid-19 at the event. In these times it is easy to forget what the new normal is.
I offer sincere apologies for the upheaval and worry that you have had to endure this week and the disruption to your family and work lives. I thank those of you today who expressed your concern to me for those who are ill, and I hope that you understand that I could not share this information with you at that time, as it was something that all parents needed to see at the same time.
The school will recover from this trauma that has been inflicted on it by actions that were very misguided but not malicious, and will once again make Holy Trinity the wonderful place for your children to learn.
Thank you for reading this.
I should add, having simmered down, I expect Gavin Williamson will now be busy trying to think of a way to impose curfews on teachers.
Lockdown by profession.
Therefore Corona spread will officially be our fault.
If it isn't already.
Absolutely incredible. It's almost like he's suggesting that teachers should have no social life whatsoever in order to keep bubbles secure.
I'm glad I never worked for anyone like that.
That HT is outrageous. I feel sorry for his staff.
And this might you feel even angrier:
Teachers face half-term coronavirus travel ban
Head teachers are seeking legal advice on whether they can ban staff from going abroad in the half-term holiday.
Heads are contacting education lawyers to ask whether they can tell teachers to stay in the UK in the week-long break in October, The Times has learnt.
Stone King, a legal firm with expertise in the charity and education sectors, said that it had received about 20 calls from state schools worried that teachers will need to quarantine for a fortnight if they take overseas holidays.
It said that heads may be within their rights to forbid teachers from travelling abroad in case the country they visited went on the list of banned destinations at short notice.
I don't disagree with the proposed ban.
I don't disagree with teachers exercising more prudence than in other professions.
I don't disagree with the HT believing that his staff had acted in an ill-considered way.
What I most strongly disagree with is the fact of blame shifting, and publically to boot. I have honestly never heard anything more degrading from a Headteacher on the subject of his own staff.
The HT blaming the teachers for viral spread. And encouraging parents to do so. And providing press fodder for the public to heap on yet more blame.
I saw this coming. About two weeks ago there was a news article about how if the virus were to spread in schools it would be "because of" teacher movement about the building. That rang alarm bells with me. Let's not stop there, let's just account for an increase because of them moving anywhere.
The blame truly ought to lie in only one place, and that is with our government, who, despite the controversy even among posters on here, really should not have allowed schools back yet.
( and fancy saying they would keep other things closed in order to make it safer. Just gormless.)
So annoyed at all this blame shifting. How can it be that the teaching profession becomes both self-sacrificial and scapegoated at the same time?! It's the worst form of abuse, and this news story is about to make it a million times worse.
I totally see where he's/she's coming from.
Next week - HT says 'It has come to my notice that some teachers have caught Covid 19 due to travelling to school on public transport EVEN THOUGH they were offered a blanket and gym mats to lie on in the hall overnight. My thanks to the three **** lickers newly promoted NQTs who are sleeping there'...
No way could he tell his staff not to attend.
Speaks volumes he even considered this.
Ok to think all of that.
Ok to tell staff you think all of that.
Ok to tell them exactly what you do think.
NOT ok to tell parents anything of the kind.
But I do understand his frustration.
lots of jobs there next probably including his and if not his everyone he just shafted in a very public letter.
Parent power in that place to be sure.
I've been hitting "refresh" on Mumsnet every few minutes for a couple of hours now-can't wait for the wasp chewing!
I would be permanently banned from TES if I aired my views about the way he has dealt with this.
So how did the 3 teachers who did not attend become infected? They could only have become infected at work, the letter even states that they were working in close proximity to those infected.
Awful, infuriating and sad, especially the part where the head says teachers may be viewed with suspicion. You couldn't make it up.