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Suffolk schools' chief praises staff and pupils in 'difficult times'




The chief executive of a schools partnership has praised the 'commitment and resolve' of school leaders, staff, students and parents as the country begins a new national lockdown.

Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity Schools Partnership, which has schools in Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Sudbury, Newmarket, Ipswich and Felixstowe, said he felt primary, secondary and special schools were better equipped to deal with a period of home learning following lessons learned during last year’s lockdown.

Schools across the country are today relaunching a programme of home schooling following the announcement of the third national lockdown by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night.

Unity Schools Partnerships staff shared best practice during earlier lockdowns
Unity Schools Partnerships staff shared best practice during earlier lockdowns

He also paid tribute to school communities who he said have had to 'repeatedly react' quickly during an uncertain few weeks.

Mr Coulson said: “Since the very first day of the first lockdown last March, I have continually been in awe of our school leaders and staff throughout our 30 schools.

“Their agility, commitment and sheer hard work has ensured we have provided the best possible education – in and out of the classroom - in such difficult times.

Tim Coulson from the Unity Schools Partnership. Picture by Unity Schools Partnership
Tim Coulson from the Unity Schools Partnership. Picture by Unity Schools Partnership

“I am confident this will continue during this latest lockdown.

Our individual school communities have always worked together to make the best of the situation – and special praise must go to students whose adaptability and resilience have been impressive at every turn.

“I would also like to thank parents and families for their understanding during this time.

"I know their letters and comments of support to their individual schools have been greatly appreciated.”

Mr Coulson said the nature of the trust, which also has schools in Essex, meant that there was 'a united vision to provide the best possible education' up until the February half-term, when a national review of the lockdown is expected.

He added: “I am always proud of how closely our schools work together and we will once again share plans and ideas throughout this period – both within our academy trust and with neighbouring schools and trusts.”

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