Covid-19 has demonstrated how much we all owe to the people who have continued to provide a vital public service and had to cope with extraordinary pressures at work while dealing with all the demands of life and family. There are heroes across all our public service workers, and we owe them a huge debt for the sacrifices they have willingly made.
But I want to highlight our teachers and in particular, all the team that have kept St Peter and St Paul Infants School Chaldon open throughout the pandemic. Under the leadership of the Headteacher, Rosie Burgess the school has stayed open and welcomed pupils from key workers and vulnerable children, including some from other schools that had remained closed. The School provided a safe and stimulating place for both pupils and staff. This has been an extraordinary effort involving detailed risk management and having to balance the needs of pupils, the expectation of parents and the wellbeing of all staff.
The school’s support for vulnerable children has been exceptional, visiting home addresses, arranging food parcels and vouchers and doing everything possible to maintain a high level of support for both pupils and parents. The school did this while at the same time responding to an urgent call from SCC to take an additional reception class in Sept this year. An outstanding effort that has involved recruiting new staff and organising building work to be ready for nearly 60 new pupils in a few months.
I am incredibly proud to be the chair of governors at St Peter and St Paul Chaldon and full of praise and gratitude to our wonderful team. Governors visited the school last week, staying outside to observe the social distancing bubbles, with home-made cakes and provisions to thank all staff. It was wonderful to see the bubbles working so well and the children so happy to be at school.
I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank Mrs Burgess and her great team for an incredible effort and include in my appreciation every other teacher that has worked so hard in very difficult circumstances to support children and young people during this awful time.