School heads work hard; they don’t need lectures from Gavin Williamson – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Robert Dring, Garnet Street, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Cleveland.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson in a classroom before the Covid-19 lockdown.

YOUR correspondent Hilary Andrews is right (The Yorkshire Post, July 6). It is the job of headteachers to manage their schools. Therein lies the problem: how to turn fluid and contradictory “guidance” into practice. I’m a retired head, but I have spent much time trying to envisage how on earth I would meet Gavin Williamson’s requirements for September, ie running a full curriculum, with all pupils present, keeping year groups in separate “bubbles” whilst staggering breaks and arrival/departure times.

This poses many challenges; let’s take just one. In my former secondary school with 420 on roll, 80 per cent of pupils travel on contract buses from a variety of places covering an area of 150 square miles. Each bus carries all five year groups. Perhaps Ms Andrews could suggest a way of meeting the Government’s requirements?

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Heads are passionate about education, and are seasoned problem-solvers. Sniping from armchair critics goes with the territory. We are not negative “moaners”; the surely the first step towards solving a problem is to identify it.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson wants all schools to fully reopen in September.

Rest assured, the last thing heads want is a visit from Mr Williamson to show them how to do things!

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James Mitchinson