This week has felt truly optimistic. Spring sunshine has once again bathed the school yard and whilst not exactly cracking the flags (a uniquely Lancashire term), it is lighting the way towards a brighter future for us all. A good school is entirely predictable; young people know that the relationships they have with each other and with the adults around them can be trusted, this brings security and is the secret to good behaviour and solid mental health. The last year has tested us all like never before but as we emerge into the sunlight, we do so knowing that the school has retained its strength and security. It is what has allowed us to deliver testing, resume teaching and plan doggedly for the future.

This week I have being planning for the future, meeting with architects and contractors to greatly improve our school toilets, our school hall and our performing arts and music provision. This work will begin in the summer term and once completed will be of the standard more redolent of the top public schools, rather than the dilapidated comprehensives of my youth. We have also been recruiting staff for September, starting early so that the school gets only the best. I have been amazed by the strength of the applications, we now have at least thirty applicants for each job whereas four years ago we struggled to attract a field for interview. We can do this because our reputation is good and our staff stable. This week has also shown us that the future for some of our most vulnerable young people will be difficult; some have struggled to return to the routine and stability of school and they will need support, care and a fair amount of tough love as we move through the summer term. It is great to be back, the future is bright but there will still be many challenges ahead.