‘I could not have been more proud’ - School principal praises staff response to Covid-19 outbreak

The principal of Littleport and East Cambridgeshire Academy has praised the “outstanding” staff for their response to its Covid-19 outbreak.

Scott Gaskins penned his thoughts in a blog post on the academy’s website and highlights the leadership and initiative his team displayed when the Year 10 bubble and staff were sent home to self-isolate.

The “difficult and complicated” decision was made after “a member of the school community” tested positive for Covid-19.

In the article, Mr Gaskins writes: “No amount of leadership ‘training’ really prepares you for what happened this week...

“Leaders step forward in a crisis and step back when things are going well. It transpires that I have 60 leaders at LECA.

“When we made the difficult and complicated decision to close the Year 10 bubble, the staff at LECA were outstanding.

“From managing the students going home, to thinking on their feet to keep the others busy in classes, to planning the rest of the day in mini bubbles; it was a mass group effort of fantastic leadership which kept the school going...

“I could not have been more proud of the LECA team.”

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He went on went on to describe the “eerily empty and quiet” dining hall the morning after Year 10s were sent home and how the school quickly adopted a primary school model of teaching where students remain in the same classroom with a teacher delivering lessons developed by a subject specialist.

Mr Gaskins said: “I walked round the school during every period and period 2 really stood out.

“Almost every class was reading, either led by the teacher or by the students, and it was fantastic to see.

“Often reading drops off in secondary school as it competes with social media and gaming and other distractions, so it was lovely to see so many students clearly enjoying their class readers or individual books.”

The primary school model will continue this week at the school as there are “so many staff who cannot be in” but students will continue with their education and year groups will still have PE.

The principal ended the note by saying to the Year 10 group: “I am sorry we had to send you home on Thursday but I know you understand the reasons why.

“After so long at home this year, I am asking you to be determined and resilient and keep your eyes on the prize.

“Do not give up. Stay in touch with your teachers and keep going and you will not fall behind.

“Use all the resources you have at your fingertips to revise and embed the knowledge you will need in each subject.

“And finally, look after your minds and your physical health - speak to us if you need anything or just want to talk; that is what we are here for.”