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Hi Everyone,

Welcome back and I wish you all a Happy New Year.

Hope you had a restful break over the holidays and took the chance to recharge your batteries.

Thank you to each and every one of you for supporting the young people and families in the Laidlaw Schools Trust. Your work is amazing, particularly so, during the period of the pandemic.

I think we could have all predicted before Christmas that we would be in lockdown again and that has proven to be the case. I am so frustrated for our senior leaders in schools for the work they did over the holidays to prepare for pupils returning to school only to find out last night that it was all in vain.

As well as supporting our most vulnerable pupils and children of key workers, our task now is to ensure that the young people at home receive the best remote education experiences possible and, as ever, we rely on you to make learning inspirational and exciting. We also need to ensure that our parents and families support their children to take every advantage of the learning opportunities we have available. LST and the Laidlaw Foundation have committed to ensure that all pupils from Year 5 and above have access to a device and internet connectivity to support their online learning and where we have had gaps they have been plugged. Our IT team is working with our seven academies to ensure availability of devices and internet access and we will be closely monitoring pupil engagement during the lockdown period.

We now have confirmation of the cancellation of GCSE and A Level examinations in 2021 but we cannot let that have an adverse effect on teaching and learning. We owe it to the pupils to give them the best education possible during the whole of their time at LST. It feels like we are in the transition period when vaccination will start having an effect on infection numbers but this will no doubt take a number of months to have a major impression. In the meantime, I thank you for your continued endeavours to support our pupils and their families and hope that during 2021 we will see some semblance of normality returning not only to school life but also life in general.

Lord Laidlaw, Susanna Kempe, the Members and the Trustees have asked me to pass on their thanks and appreciation for all your hard work and all that you are doing to support everyone in the LST community in these difficult times.

With all good wishes,

Peter Snowdon

COO, Laidlaw Schools Trust

Peter Snowdon

Peter Snowdon

Chief Operating Officer & Accounting Officer