COMMENT: Words of inspiration from Sunderland's education frontline

Do you want to know your kids will be okay? Do you want to see positivity in a negative world? Do you want to be inspired?

Friday, 8th January 2021, 12:00 am
Seaburn Dene Primary School headteacher John Howe. Picture by FRANK REID.

Then read the words of Sunderland headteacher John Howe today.

In a personal reflection on the effect Covid-19 has had on his school and surrounding community his words are all of the above … and more.

John, the head of Seaburn Dene Primary School, could easily have used the page as a platform to criticise the government and bemoan his lot. Equally, he could have painted a sugar-coated vision of school life that was comforting, but far from the truth.

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Instead, he has used the platform to express an honest opinion of the situation in which he, and many others in the education system, find themselves and of how he envisages the community emerging, intact, on the other side of the lockdown. At the heart of his concerns are the children.

As he tells us “Everything we do as a staff team is with the health and happiness of our children at its heart.

"Our children are amazing. They are shining beacons of light, hope and resilience and we will ensure that we keep that light shining, even in these most uncertain and worrying of times. I often use a word to describe this characteristic which we are seeing in our children: grit. Through all of this, I have told our parents that the most important outcome of this (and previous) lockdowns is that we all come through this pandemic, both physically and mentally.”

With people like John at the helm, we’re confident they will do just that. Inspirational stuff...