Many months ago, before the Covid19 reared its head, I was approached to consider becoming President of SATIPS. Having been a career long supporter of this great organisation it took very little to persuade me to attempt to fill this honourable role.

Why? Because I have always believed that its great strength is that it is run by teachers for teachers which makes it a genuine grass roots facility and can and should make it totally relevant to all teachers and all pupils. So why a letter from me now? Well, with all the challenges ahead, the officers of SATIPS have asked me to write.

As the new academic year begins I just wanted to wish you well as you embark on the term ahead. You have all been preparing for weeks and I wanted you to know that the SATIPS family is behind you every step of the way. I venture to suggest that the young people in our care may find the whole operation a great deal easier than many of us teachers will but the new situation will, I
am sure, be a revelation to us all as to how we might do ‘matters educational’ differently in the future – particularly with the recent past experience of the on line and virtual teaching experience of the summer term.

As teachers your role is always critical. Your relationship with each individual child, with each family, with your fellow teachers and as part of the school community team are always paramount. This time round you will be dealing with all these parts (and many more) of an equation with the young and their families being under many different pressures – financial, social, health et al.

As your Council members are all teachers they too are facing up to these immense challenges. This message therefore is to wish you a stimulating start to your new academic year. We all long to hear the patter of tiny feet around our school communities and buildings once again and if SATIPS can help in any way do contact us. SATIPS is here to help so please tell us what YOU want and need from us. It will help us plan ahead. I am absolutely certain that the one thing I can guarantee is that the young will rise to the challenge – they always do!

As a long serving head, a long serving teacher, a former school inspector, a former chairman of IAPS and a governor of several schools over the years that is why we love our vocation. The young always cut straight to the quick.

Take care, stay safe and do try to keep your sense of humour. We will come out of this eventually. Finally, may I urge you once again to do one thing for me. Please do keep a log in your department and in your school of those ‘magic moments’ which we will try to put together – either in Prep School magazine or in a Broadsheet – to show how resilient, determined imaginative and creative the young – and their teachers – can be.

Good luck
Richard Tovey

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