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Dear Colleagues

Events have been moving so quickly over the past couple of weeks and choosing the right moment to communicate a message of solidarity, encouragement and appreciation to our staff has been difficult. The speed with which this pandemic has swept the world and impacted all of our lives has indeed been remarkable and I know that each of you will have had domestic and family arrangements to put in place to resist the virus, as well as worrying about the ongoing education of our children and young people, as both you and they work largely from home. I know from Sarah Smythe that last week was particularly challenging as the national directives, when they eventually arrived, lacked the necessary detail and clarity to enable swift decision making. Fortunately our Executive Team and Headteachers were already responding to the fast moving situation in a pragmatic and energetic way, taking difficult decisions with the wellbeing of our pupils and staff always uppermost in their minds. Their leadership and creativity through these uncharted waters has been exemplary and will I am certain continue to be so over the coming weeks.

Your support and willingness to adapt to the changing situation has been vital and greatly appreciated. This is a worrying time because some of the things we are all being asked to do have not been done before. Sometimes it feels reassuring to have a master plan in place. For this tumultuous and life changing event in our history, there has been no plan. This has allowed imagination, inspiration and common sense to come to the fore so that challenges are being faced head-on, along with the inevitable and unforeseen consequences of decisions.

The education of our children and young people is a vital service and you are playing your part in providing as much continuity as possible to them and, with that, a degree of normality in these uncertain times. YHCLT is very fortunate to be blessed with such committed staff.

On behalf of the Trustees, I would like to thank you all for the resourcefulness and resilience you have shown thus far and to wish you and your families safe and healthy weeks ahead.

Very best wishes

Claire Wood

Chair of the Board of Trustees - YHCLT

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