Wider Opening
 
Nursery and School began the wider opening of their services last Monday and the week has gone well. Attendance has doubled in both services and the staff and children have managed the situation well. We have been learning together on how to cope with the new circumstances and ways of working. Everyone has proved to be flexible and solutions focused on dealing with things as they have emerged. The teams in both services have been reviewing their practices on a daily basis and so far things are running smoothly. Thankfully, we have had no reports of Covid 19 symptoms and the staff are remaining vigilant at all times. Our staff teams make us very proud at the Trust through their professionalism, dedication and focus on providing services for our children and young people. They are doing a great job. 
Test and Trace
The government's new programme of Test and Trace is now in operation and we are very mindful of the impact on our services if we are contacted regarding a potential infection of someone within our Trust community - staff member or child. We have created 'bubbles' within our services to try and minimise the impact of people having to self-isolate for 7 or 14 days. We have planned for the scenario of having to enforce self-isolation within our services and we will contact those affected (staff and families) once we are notified. 
Visors
 
Last week we were featured on BBC Look North to highlight the difficulty that deaf children and staff face from people wearing face masks as it prevents lip reading. We were appealing for clear plastic visors and we had a fantastic response from several companies who donated them to us for free. We can't thank them enough for their generosity in helping us out with this issue to help facilitate communication within the Trust.
Governance
 
We have 5 services within the Trust (Nursery, School, Children's Home, College and Specialist Employability Service) that all need to be monitored via some form of governance. Our governors and trustees have been actively involved in holding us to account and ensuring that we are implementing government guidelines in response to Covid 19 and that the services are being monitored, managed and are effectively delivering provision. I am in weekly contact with the Chairs of the Governors and the Trust to maintain communication and assure them that we are fulfilling our responsibilities.
It is a testing time at the moment and as we see attendance of staff, children and young people increase across the Trust we are being cautious to ensure everyone's safety. We are learning a lot too about how to be flexible, to be creative and positive so that we can increase the time we can spend with our children and young people to support them with their education and care. Thank you to everyone in our community for being patient and supportive. 
Alexis Johnson
Executive Principal