Well its Saturday afternoon on January 2nd and I’m watching closely as the national situation for primary schools appears to be  developing as each hour passes.

I just wanted to let you know that as Headteacher of Newsham Primary, I’ve not been given any instruction at this stage, to prevent school from opening on Monday as planned.

I hope you can understand that throughout this whole pandemic, I’ve had to react swiftly to information that has often been sent to me at the 11th hour. I also want you to understand that this is due to national changes in procedures and no reflection of Northumberland County Council or our school.  NCC have been incredibly supportive but mostly, we all receive information at the same time!

Some of you may have read about some unions who are advising teachers across the country to only engage in remote learning.  At this stage, no member of staff has informed me that he or she will be following that advice but obviously, that remains a real possibility and could subsequently affect the decisions I have to make about staffing our school.  If this situation does become a reality, I absolutely know staff would be taking that action with a heavy heart as they are the most dedicated staff I’ve ever had the privilege to work alongside.  I also know that safety for our whole school community is uppermost in everyone’s minds and that we are in an extremely difficult situation.

As Headteacher, I promise I will do everything possible to keep your children, the staff and yourselves safe.  I also promise to be open and honest at every stage on this journey and to provide you with updates as soon as I receive them myself.  I absolutely know that the responsibility for the health and safety of our school community sits on my shoulders and it is a responsibility I take very seriously.  Luckily, my shoulders are broad and being experienced (and therefore old!) is helpful during times such as these.

I am tracking the Covid cases per 100,000 in Northumberland very closely and can confirm that they are rising. That said, the data suggests they are still lower than in the average area in England at the moment and certainly those in London but, as I say, I’ll keep you up to date with any information I receive.

I’m so very sorry that this post is not more certain or positive.  Please try not to worry and be reassured that I’ll support you as far as I possibly can if you are feeling concerned about the situation generally or in relation to your child’s education.

Finally, I’m not going to be able to answer individual questions here but I’m also very aware that it’s less than 48 hours before school is due to open.  If you have an individual worry or question, please send an email to the Covid email address that was shared with you all at the end of term and I’ll try to help if I possibly can.  Please watch out for further updates and feel feel to share this post as I’ve not been able to upload it to our website quite yet.

Thank you so much for your constant support.  Mrs Armstrong ♥️