Mayor praises Trust’s detailed measures for re-opened schools
The Mayor of Tenterden Cllr Mrs Jean Curteis was full of praise for the detailed planning which has gone into the safe re-opening of the town’s schools, when she paid socially-distanced visits to three Tenterden School’s Trust (TST) schools on Tuesday 22 September.
Cllr Mrs Curteis started her fact finding tour at Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre, where she herself was once a student, to hear at first hand from Principal Jeremy Single and TST CEO Sally Lees how the epic re-opening task had been achieved – from reconfiguring the school site and restructuring the school day to the high level of logistical organisation needed to reinstate school bus services. She was also impressed to learn of the meticulous work being done on a daily basis to keep all Trust schools open in the face of continuing challenges.
The Mayor also congratulated Mrs Lees on the Trust’s recent success in winning £2.6m in Government improvement grants for eight building refurbishment projects, the first of which is already underway at Homewood.
Cllr Mrs Curteis then moved on to the Tenterden Infant School and Tenterden CofE Junior School to speak with Executive Headteacher Samantha Crinnion, Head of School Tina McIntosh and Deputy Head of School Tracy Burdett. The senior team explained the timetabling and bubble model and Cllr Mrs Curteis walked the outside trails that the children follow from the school gate to their classroom, acknowledging how well the staggered starts and finishes to the school day are working.
Her final meeting was with the Head of St Michael’s Primary School, Sara Williamson, to discuss the logistics of getting children in and out of school safely and keeping both children and adults safe on site. Mrs Williamson also showed the Mayor the school’s new soft surface running track installed during the Summer. In a new initiative to increase regular exercise, each class uses the track for 15-minute running or walking sessions every day.
“I am incredibly impressed by the work that has happened and is continuing to happen at our schools,” said Cllr Mrs Curteis. “The task has been a mammoth one, so I am equally impressed that this hasn’t led schools to take their eye off the ball when it comes to student achievement, development and welfare. With challenges still continuing, the dedication demonstrated by both teachers and support staff deserves our thanks and congratulations.”