Governors Update: Bulletin 4
Believe it or not it’s only been two and a half weeks since we started remote learning as a school, but we are so encouraged by how well pupils, parents and staff have adapted to this new normal. We have heard from many families about how well this is working.
Thank you for your continued commitment and support. The staff have been meeting at the start of every day via videoconference to pray and support one another. The leadership team and governors are also meeting online regularly to ensure that school continues to operate effectively and that any problems can be quickly addressed.
The governors met with Mr. Worsley and Mrs. Boulton on Tuesday evening for our regular monthly meeting and much of our time was spent discussing the challenges that we are facing as a school due to the pandemic. In particular we wanted to bring some points to your attention which are significantly affecting some of our community.
As you’ll be aware the government announced a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on 20th March. This scheme means that employees that cannot work can be given a leave of absence or “Furloughed”, and HMRC will make a grant to employers of 80% of the salary for employees that are Furloughed; the remaining 20% has to be met by the school. As a school we are very reluctant to Furlough many of our teaching staff, because the majority are needed to ensure that our unique Christ-centred curriculum is transferred effectively to an online and remote learning delivery; this includes preparing lessons, pastoral support, individual support, monitoring progress, and marking the pupils’ work. Many of the staff have been finding that these added complexities and the associated technology have put significant demands on their already busy timetables.
As things stand, we have managed to Furlough 16% of the teaching staff. However, in order to keep the remaining 84% of teaching staff actively delivering education, we are fully dependent on families continuing to pay fees each month in order to maintain the necessary cash flow. Unfortunately a number of families have been unable to pay fees, but some of those who have not paid have not contacted us, which makes it very difficult for us to plan. If you are in this position, please contact me directly firstname.lastname@example.org to update me as to your personal circumstances – I will treat this in strict confidence.
We do recognise that some families will be experiencing very difficult financial circumstances at this time. We are standing with all our families at this difficult time and we are looking to the whole of the school community to be praying and seeking the Lord for all our needs. Even if the school receives the proposed 80% funding towards the salaries of our Furloughed staff who are not working, the funds may not be received for a couple of months - in the meantime salaries and all other operational costs will need to continue to be met by the school. We continue to be fully dependent on the goodwill and understanding of families, especially in these difficult times.
We will continue to monitor the situation each month, and if the sustainability of the school is at risk, we will need to review the number of staff who are on Furlough. We recognise that this will put even more pressure on the remaining working staff who are delivering the children’s education. This will only happen if there is a further increase in unpaid fees. We will keep you informed on progress; and let’s all agree together to pray for each other, that the Lord will provide all our needs.
After the pandemic ends, we believe that we will all have learned so much both educationally, spiritually and practically; and we are trusting that the Lord will sustain us during this time in a way that will prepare us for the future.
Ephesians 2:4-10 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.