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Headmaster’s blog – 15th June 2011

June 16, 2011

A couple of parents recently said to me that they felt staff looked quite tired and stressed. I was delighted with their concern and support but it did set me to wondering about possible causes, assuming it was a good observation!

Summer terms are always exciting times (end of courses, pleasant weather, new trips etc.) for pupils and staff alike. This particular time of the term (mid-June) sees pupils finish exams whilst staff still have marking and reports to do as well as much preparation for next year’s timetable and teaching. In addition, there have been special pressures this year – and some are peculiar to Ballard. Extra stresses common to many staff are the new GCSE courses with their CATs (controlled assessments), additional exams for Y10 at GCSE and the country-wide discussions on teachers’ pensions (see my earlier blog). The late Easter and then the ‘start, stop’ nature of this summer term with its extra Bank Holiday also produced a frantic rush to complete courses and conduct meaningful pre-exam revision. On top of all this here at Ballard we are still awaiting an ISI (independent school) inspection. This has been keenly expected for the last 2 years and with every delay so the anticipatory pressure has mounted!

So, it may be that Ballard staff are especially busy and somewhat stressed at present but I still find them to be caring, considerate and passionate for our young people to excel. I am extremely grateful to all parents for their understanding and support in this as we continue in our home / school family partnership.

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