Unity Schools Partnership


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New starts can be exciting and nerve-wracking.

Children starting at a new school this term will have been excited and nervous – and many of their parents even more so. New children will need different support to settle and quickly thrive.

This is also a time for new staff starting across our schools and they too will have had the mixture of excitement at their new role and wondering how it will work out.

Some of us sail into these new situations with confidence whilst others of us can find our nerves almost overwhelming.

September in schools is what January is like for everyone else.

It’s a time for new resolve, new books and a chance to move on with responsibility and with one’s work.

As someone who has the privilege to visit our schools, September is a particularly good time as everyone looks so much fresher and refreshed than in the last few weeks of the summer term.

Schools start the year with training days for staff as they look to make important steps forward in the life of each school.

Where schools need work doing on their buildings, the summer break is the ideal time for this to be done so it’s also the time of year when the buildings and sites are spruced up and looking brighter.

The trust I am privileged to lead, Unity Schools Partnership, has the particular pleasure of being asked to open new schools.

Churchill Academy in Haverhill was the first school opened by the trust in 2013 and this was followed by Sybil Andrews Academy in Bury St Edmunds – both filled more quickly than had been anticipated and now both part of the established schools in the area.

We have been asked to open two new special schools and last week we were delighted to be asked by the Department for Education and Suffolk County Council to open a new primary school in 2020. This offers a wonderful opportunity for staff to involved in being part of a school from its start.

As we begin this new school year, we are also looking at new ambitions. One is to have defibrillators at each of our schools for the safety of our children and staff, but also for those in the local community that the ambulance service can point people towards when emergencies arise.

We are looking for partners to assist each school in the fundraising for each machine.

So far, we have two schools which have a defibrillator. How good would it be when this number rises to 22?