Hello and welcome once again to Heads Up, the last one for a fortnight while I hope you take some well-earned rest.
This week has seen the emergence in the national media of the ‘Everyone’s Invited’ website. You should be reassured that this matter is being taken with the utmost seriousness in Warwickshire and a multi-disciplinary group involving Warwickshire Police and other agencies has been mobilised to look at the issues and how people can best be supported in Warwickshire.
It is early days for the response group, which is working through the issues at pace, but gathering additional intelligence is needed at this stage. There will be something more substantial to communicate after the holiday and I will keep you informed. Should you receive any calls or emails from media during the holidays around this subject, please direct them immediately to email@example.com where the county council’s communications team will issue a statement from the county on your behalf.
Speaking of working at pace, my thanks go out to all who have been involved in putting together the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme. We are getting a lot of bookings already from grateful parents and carers of eligible children. This is heart-warming in so many ways. It supports local providers and makes a notable contribution to a much-needed economic stimulus for them, given the impact of the pandemic.
It also has the potential to involve local volunteers. At the onset of the pandemic, the county council received many offers from people wishing to give time to their local communities. The HAF programme will help to bring together local providers, local services and volunteers in a collective effort to support eligible children and young people. The community spirit is still very much alive. A framework of local providers is being developed which will help to set us up very well for the summer programme, when we hope that the scope of the HAF programme activities will be broader as restrictions ease.
As you will all know, though, we are not at that point yet. This has been an incredibly challenging term for you and the pressure has not relented. But thanks to the quality of your management, including your risk assessments, health and safety processes and COVID testing, we have kept isolations of pupils and students, as well as staff, down. We continue to make important steps in the right direction.
So, please do give yourselves a good measure of self-congratulation for all that you have done this term and do invest in yourself over the holiday with some much-needed rest and recuperation. I’m pleased to say that many of my team are taking some time off to recharge so that we can be ready for whatever the new term sends our way. It will be challenging without doubt. The best we can do at this point is to enjoy the Easter break, recharge and come back ready for the summer term.
Have a good break all.