A letter from Kay Charles, our CEOPosted on: 8 June 2020
Dear parents, families and carers,
I want you to know that Compass Learning Partnership and its two schools, The Village and Woodfield belong to you. We are a joint community.
I know that you have all been through very challenging times and some of our community have suffered great bereavement, pain and loss.
We desperately want to open the schools fully, but we can't take the risk just yet. I feel as if we are missing out on the strength of being together in our school communities on a daily basis.
We believe that everyone should feel they belong and are included and the isolation that you must all be feeling goes against everything we believe in.
This leads me to talk about the current situation in the United States. I have to speak out.
Like me you will have watched with horror the way in which the gentleman, George Floyd, was treated in the United States. I was appalled. I want you to know that I believe we as a community must stand with those people who stand up to and fight racism and seek equality of opportunity. The injustice of some of those in positions of power and authority in the US towards many black people is endemic, but sadly it is here too in this country. I long for a change for the better, for harmony and proper representation and respect for all. I fear that not enough will be learned. Much is said, but will there be action and will it be sustained?
So as a school community I commit to consulting you and our staff community on ideas and steps for change and below are some ideas which have already been shared with me that I would like us to consider implementing:
Proposals for consultation submitted to me so far:
In our two schools
8 minutes set time of drop everything and read (this would be differentiated to meet the needs of all our youngsters)
Communication strategies (eg: signing and symbols) at all levels to ensure they are inclusive and accessible, promoting equality and celebration of heritage, race, beliefs and culture.
Pictures around the schools before a full return with inspirational quotes to inspire our youth and staff.
Videos of our staff, parents and pupils reading out these quotes or sharing their own message and positive action!
Continuing to work with all our parents to ensure that our children and young people have positive futures on leaving school, that they have choice and access to a lifestyle which supports them to be their best selves.
Children and young people to write their own books and statements and to be introduced to books written by and for black children.
Black lives matter forum.
Black Lives Matter club - a 'current issues' group for black children and young people to discuss their concerns, fears and also their aspirations.
Advocacy by young people with and for their peers.
I stand with our community and we must not accept racism, people must be supported to speak out. The voice that was stolen from George and his family like so many before him must be respected and restored.
I do not pretend that we as an organisation are perfect, we must do better and must keep improving. I remain committed to promoting an inclusive ethos and celebrating diversity.
Lastly, if now is a time you’re struggling with everything that's going on, please don't stay quiet. Reach out to us so that we can give you the time, space and support you need.
Kindest regards from Kay