Actually, not just these uncertain times – but having to deal with issues when adrenaline is at an all-time high, has certainly highlighted the fact that the support staff at St Mary’s are patient, understanding and unflappable. In normal circumstances I would not have hesitated to write the same report, had I been asked.
I am sure each support staff team works similarly in other schools in our Diocese, however the loyalty shown by the ladies and gents of St Mary’s, Gateshead, who have been “holding the fort” in conjunction with the leadership team while the college has been at its quietest, has been truly immense.
I cannot begin to tell you just how full-on every method of communication has been from parents and carers into the college, particularly 23 and 24 March – emails, phone calls, in person.
The incredible workload was something that we have never witnessed before. Updates to parents were out of date before they were even published, the leadership team here have done an incredible job keeping news relevant and on-point without the overload that we have been subjected to by the media.
This experience has become somewhat of a bonding session. The work continues to be done, all support staff members from front desk, back office, finance, IT, science prep, library, TAS, groundsmen, learning support, canteen and food tech and gone about their tasks with a smile on their face and there is always a laugh to be had, even on the most stressful of days.
We have taken some time out, had breaks when we should, talked about the goings-on, put the world to rights, had lunch in the sun – all while being socially distanced and sanitised. It has been a huge learning curve under demanding times.
Their professionalism has been superb throughout and I am without a doubt that parents and carers are much more at ease knowing there is a team working behind the scenes for the benefit of their children and can be called on at any time throughout the day for advice or assistance.
I am proud to have these ladies and gentlemen as part of the St Mary’s support staff and am thankful that we have each other to get through the daily ordeals, as a team.