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Farewell to Mrs Brooker

27 March 2021  |  Jill Lundberg  |  Posted in:

We would like to wish Catherine Brooker, the Chief Executive Officer of the Areté Learning Trust, all the very best in her retirement. We are so sorry that Mrs Brooker is leaving, she will be greatly missed by all the staff across the three schools in the Trust, Northallerton, Stokesley and ourselves. We enjoyed passing on our best wishes to Mrs Brooker for a very happy and fulfilling retirement and also took the opportunity to invite Mrs Brooker to do one last job for us and present Elsa Wright, in Year 9 with vouchers for winning both of the recent Areté German and French language challenges.

We would like to share a message with you from Mrs Brooker:

“Having started my career in education in the 1970s in East London, I end it here in North Yorkshire, more than 40 years later. During that time, I have faced all sorts of challenges, particularly in the 20 years as a Head. However, who could have foreseen the quite exceptional circumstances of the last year?

There is much in the media about the potentially damaging impact of the pandemic and the new challenges these will present. Public services have often been an easy target but the crisis has led to a re-thinking and a greater appreciation, not only of NHS staff but of other service professions including teachers and school support staff. I am so grateful that many parents have expressed your appreciation generously, as I know what a fillip this has been to staff in our schools, many of whom have been managing their own family commitments, and home schooling their children whist sustaining and developing learning for their students. I hope that we shall see this greater social solidarity underpinning our communities during the recovery years, with a greater recognition of the ways in which we all depend on each other. As the crisis developed, I would say that our teachers have been magnificent in their response, rapidly developing their skills in order to support home learning more effectively, sharing resources, materials, ideas and, most importantly, maintaining communication with and support for families in creative ways.

I should also like to pay particular tribute to our school leaders who have been under immense pressure and who have worked tirelessly to support staff, students and families, in the face of repeated changes to policy and increased demands – their professionalism, integrity, courage and commitment have been inspiring.

I am pleased to advise you that the trustees have appointed Richard Crane as my successor. Richard is currently Head of Education and Skills in Durham. I have been working closely with him since his appointment in December to secure an effective handover and know that I leave the trust in safe hands. He will be well supported by our Heads and by the central team of loyal and hardworking ALT staff. I look forward to hearing about the continued success of our trust schools in the future and my very best wishes to you all.

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