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Chair's Report - Autumn 2021

This has been something of a topsy-turvy term. It started with a return to school in improving Covid conditions. With the ending of classroom teaching in “bubbles” Governors hoped that life at RPHS was returning to something like normal. But as the end of term approaches, the Omicron variant, its effects as yet unknown, is casting a long shadow over all of us, and the school is sensibly taking a precautionary approach to its spread.

So Governors’ activity has accordingly been varied. We were delighted to start the term with our first in-person Full Governing Body meeting for eighteen months. It was a chance to meet and welcome our three new Parent Governors, Hiren Patel, Oduwa Idehen and Chris Hopkins, and our new Co-opted Governor, Rita Patel, all of whom were elected in the course of the summer term. We have also been able to hold some of our committee meetings at school, while others have taken place on Zoom. But by the end of term, our second full Governors’ meeting is being held on Zoom and my own regular round-ups with Kirsten have continued to be held by telephone.

 One bright spot in the term, however, was the restoration of our Strategic Visit in October. We devoted this to a look at our new Year 7 and how well they are settling in to the school after the disruption of the last 18 months in their primary education, and a necessarily modified induction process when they entered RPHS. It is good to report that they are doing exceptionally well, and that the students themselves were very happy with their first experiences of RPHS life. A big well done to them and to the Year 7 tutor team.

Governors were also glad to attend this year’s moving Remembrance Assembly on 11 November – again, it was good to see this event held in real time once more.

Throughout the term, Governors have checked and been impressed by the school’s operational plans for maintaining the safety and security of our students and staff. We are sure that this is responsible for the low levels of infection relative to other schools in the area. Attendance at school is important for the continuing education of our students, and the way they and their teachers continue to respond to the ongoing difficulties posed by Covid has been excellent. Our thanks and congratulations to them all.

 

Michael Ross

Chair of Governors