Bishop commends church school leaders as new term begins

Ahead of the start of the new term, Bishop Simon Burton-Jones, Chair of the Rochester Diocese Board of Education, has commended the staff and leaders of Church Schools across the Diocese, for their response to the pandemic.

"The response our schools made to the pandemic was generous, creative and accommodating, exhibiting the professional traits we have come to expect from our teachers but which was no less remarkable for it."

Looking ahead to the new term, he recognises the challenges they will continue to face:

"This September, we are wiser in some ways and yet just as uncertain about the future.  As leaders in education, you calibrate outcomes carefully, but the old guarantees about life have been shredded. 

"Judgments have to be made that at times may feel like best guesses, and as so often, the duties and expectations of others are being loaded onto schools."

Into this context, Bishop Simon asks them to remember seven key things he hopes will help them see this time through:

  1. Your skill is unquestioned and sufficient for each day
  2. You have the admiration of your communities – the trust levels always show this
  3. Loud, critical voices are drowned out by silent, affirming ones (you just don’t hear that frequency)
  4. This year you will re-shape the lives of those the media says have been irreparably twisted by the virus
  5. They won’t forget that
  6. Please pay attention to your own bodies and minds – it’s so easy in public service to put this off
  7. There are people you’ll never know about who are praying to God for you and all you do
  8. And he loves you with an everlasting love

Read his message in full here

With many schools returning this week, leaders from the Medway Anglican Schools Trust - which runs four Primary schools within the Diocese - said that while pandemic had been challenging, they are looking ahead with positivity:

"Last academic year was challenging but we worked through it together and have prepared for the start of this academic year. We know that by being supportive to each other we can achieve a full return to a form of normality.

"We are looking forward to having everyone in our school communities - children, families, staff and wider community back to school together. Overall we are feeling positive and we are being open minded and realising we have to stay flexible because things are changing every day.

"Our schools' and Trust values have promoted resilience, love and hope for a safe future in our schools - never have they been more relevant. Our priority is keeping our school communities safe and thriving."


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