I only set myself a few rules for this blog – one is to not mention too many people by name, since so many pupils and staff do so much great stuff that where would you stop? Another is to studiously avoid politics. I hope it’s keeping to that if I say ‘about time’ for the announcement that schools should reopen in full in September, and add my voice to those who are increasingly pointing out how, well, important schools are.
You might expect an independent school Head to be complacent: after all, our pupils have now nicely widened the gap. Not so: yes, I long for our boys to be back in full, doing everything that enthuses, challenges, excites and sometimes tests and frustrates them. But I want ALL pupils to be back, most of all those who need school most. Lucy Kellaway puts it well in an article for the Spectator which she’s also done on YouTube as a podcast. She argues that there is ‘irreplaceable magic’ in real lessons in real schools, and we all know she’s right. One colleague (speaking for all of them I think) told me this last week ‘I’ve never enjoyed teaching so much as this week!’
Meanwhile I think the only thing I should say otherwise is thank you: thank you to parents, who have been brilliant in understanding and supporting (and telling us when and how we could do better). Thank you to the boys who have kept going, and inspired with individual projects, small and large, of imagination and verve. Thank you to staff, who have been heroes one and all.
I’m proud that Whitgift is spearheading Croydon’s summer effort to help those most in need catch up: our summer school for Year 5 pupils, led by Mr Marlow, is the first significant project within Whitgift For All. Please support it if you can.
Most of all though, I’m determined that we’ll be back, all of us, in September. I promise!