I have taken the unusual decision to write a public letter to the Academy community. Life in the pandemic has been difficult for us all and tragic for those that have lost family members, and all those personally affected have my sincere sympathy for the upheaval the pandemic has brought to work and family life.
The challenges faced by all education settings across the country have been extreme, and those in the big cities have often faced greater problems than others. The government’s guidance to the Academy has changed frequently and I am very grateful to the staff at Q3 Academy Great Barr for their efficient and calm management to support key workers, provide remote learning and COVID-19 testing at the end of the last lockdown, and to adapt every aspect of Academy routines to keep children safe.
There have of course been disappointments and frustrations. We had to close the Academy during November, and we have twice closed to a whole Year Group. The cancellation of the Prom was a real disappointment for all concerned. Equally, as a parent, I know the disruption caused when students have been sent home to self-isolate. However, I have been consulted on all major decisions regarding closure and I can assure you that the Academy has always worked in the best interests of the students, carefully balancing the need to keep them safe and maintain education.
Most of all, I must praise the students who have worked so hard to overcome every barrier. I know that Year 11 and 13 have worked tirelessly with the support of staff and their families to make up for lost learning. I wish them well in the next stage of their education or work.
The pandemic is not over and I expect there will be many other twists and turns next academic year, but as we draw this academic year to a close, on behalf of the governing body, I wish to reiterate my thanks to the whole Academy community, and wish you all a safe and restful holiday.
Mr C Pritchard
Chair of Governors