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Weekly Bulletin - 17/03/2023

Please see the latest bulletin from Mr Solly below...

Dear UCC Families

In some ways, it has been much quieter at UCC, compared to last week. Once the dust had settled following our Ofsted inspection, and the snow had melted, it felt like we could get back to 'business as usual'. We did have to manage the 2 days of industrial action from the NEU, but I feel we navigated this as best we could, with 4 out of 5 year groups in school across both days. I am grateful for the understanding and patience of Year 7 and 8 families, whose children had one day out of school this week. 

The main headlines around the strike action have been focussed on teacher pay, but the issues are far more widespread. Schools are chronically underfunded, and in a post-pandemic world, where the wellbeing of young people is of even greater importance, schools are really on the front line in terms of support. However, we are doing this without the resources we need to really make an impact. I sincerely hope that this is recognised in the coming months and schools receive a more substantial budget than we are expecting, otherwise we will sadly be having to make some very tough decisions to ensure we can balance the books. We are somewhat fortunate that we have been able to improve and expand our facilities at UCC during a period of financial austerity, and we have done this without spending our school budget. Our building projects have either been funded by the county council, as we expand our inclusion offer, or through the Conditions Improvement Fund for school, which is a bidding process available to all schools each year. As a result, we have developed impressive new teaching spaces for our students, whilst improving existing facilities, which would otherwise have been impossible by simply using our allocated annual budget. I am hoping that schools will be provided with some clarity soon regarding key funding decisions so we can properly plan our budget for 2023-24.

This week our Year 10 boys' football team secured a 4-3 win against Redmoor Academy in a close and tense semi-final. Congratulations to everyone involved and good luck in the final on Monday 27th March at Aylestone Park FC.

Today we have held a charity day with a bit of a difference at UCC. Rather than following our usual pattern of using the national fund-raising events as our charity days, we wanted to involve our students more in the process and utilise our new House system to raise funds for the charities selected by each House. There were lots of fun activities going on throughout today and I hope that our students had a great time getting involved. (See photos further down in the newsletter)

Finally, I need to signpost you to a concern regarding the increasing number of cars parking on the road outside school at the end of the school day. We feel this creates an unsafe environment, as we have hundreds of young people exiting the premises and a higher volume of vehicles at these times. If you do collect your child/children from school at the end of the day, please can you not park on the road outside of school and ideally arrive after 3:20pm, as the buses will have departed by then and you will have much easier access to the car park, whilst also not contributing to a potentially dangerous situation. 

Please take the time to read through the rest of the Newsletter, so you are up-to-date with everything that has been going on at UCC. 
Mr B Solly