WOW! We got to 100 members pretty quickly which is fantastic: welcome to all the new members!
The start of the year has been incredibly busy and although the country is on the right path in dealing with COVID, the rest of the year will likely continue to be disrupted. We have noticed fatigue setting in for those confined at home despite regular online meetings and contact, so what can be done to help?
‘Blended learning’ techniques need strategic development and guidance, not just from a technological standpoint but also from a phycological one. The ability to perform learning and teaching tasks remotely from time to time, is a far cry from what we are having to deliver now. Extended periods of online activity, weeks at a time, can cause a plethora of issues manifesting in a variety of symptoms.
As a Trust, your responsibility to your staff and students means that you need to address these issues from a variety of angles. I have been accused of being the eternal optimist more than once, however I truly believe the situation we are all currently enduring provides an amazing opportunity for MATs to demonstrate their true value to their members academies.
With strategic leadership from a Trust level, each academy should be proclaiming “This is why it’s good to be part of ABC Multi Academy Trust!”.
So, what can you do to help? There are obviously practical elements to this, remote learning technology and curriculum, safeguarding & COVID guidelines, but have you considered the humanitarian side?
What guidance and policies could help your schools upon reopening, or partially reopening? What are the ramifications for families whose household contains multi-generational members? My own business partner has this very concern; a family with children as young as five, living with grandparents with ages into their seventies. He, and many others like him, will need to balance the need for his children’s education with the risk attributed to potentially passing COVID to older family members.
With these factors in mind, it is clear to see that it will take some time before we return the schools where all children attend in person and therefore the need for a hybrid or blending learning strategy is more important than ever. Whilst you encourage your students back to school, keep in mind those human elements and remember the importance of demonstrating empathy and compassion in the ‘classroom’?