Monday, 9 February 2009

I received this e-mail from my colleague Andrew Eastwood, Headteacher at St. Matthew's Church of England (Aided) Primary School...

"Chris, sorry to be a burden, but last week was very difficult and I could do with a little help. We remained open all week, including Monday despite Radio Aire saying we were shut! We got staff to school, cleared paths and kept the school warm and inviting. The children came in and lessons went on. All this despite getting no help at all from Leeds Council – and this is where I hope you may have some influence. The road up to school was lethal. I attach a photo that I took on the Friday morning on my walk in to school. It was early in the morning and a local resident was getting ready to go to work. I include the photo as you can clearly see the headlights reflected in the glassy ice that the road had become. Surely such a route to a school should be gritted!! I know there is a shortage, but I thought we were trying to keep schools open. On Wednesday, one of my teachers slipped on Wensley Drive taking a class to the bus on Scott Hall Road. She spent two days in hospital having her bones pinned and ankle re-locating. She will be off for at least 6 weeks. I then went on the trip so the children would not miss out. Then on Friday, whilst parents parked in the safer area of Harrogate road and the end of Wood Lane, away from the snow and ice, they got a ticket from the traffic warden!!! I always try to keep open, but then wonder why I bothered… just to add insult to injury, I am now told that because I opened, I have spoiled my attendance figures – as all the children stuck in snow or helping us out as we struggled to stay open are ‘away’ – if we had shut the school we would not need to count them – how unfair is that? Sorry to be a pain for things that I accept are outside your control, however, I am hoping you will know to whom this mail could be forwarded to try to get some help in ‘doing the right thing’. All the best… Andrew"

Colleagues have done brilliantly over the last week and we need to all work together to address the issues that the last week has thrown at us. Roll on half-term!


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