Following the Secretary of State for Education’s visit to Hammersmith Academy, Mr Zahawi appeared on the BBC to talk about the return to school for students in January.
During the interview, Mr Zahawi praised the efforts of Hammersmith Academy staff for keeping schools open with routine Covid testing and the wearing of facemasks. Speaking with Sophie Raworth, he particularly praised the support staff for going above and beyond in order to carry out the whole school testing asked by the government.
Mr Zahawi also appeared in a TES feature and again praised Hammersmith Academy, this time on the Academy’s expectations on behaviour and pastoral care.
An extract from the TES article:
Zahawi has previously pledged to put wellbeing “at the centre of everything we do in schools”, which he sees as working alongside clear behaviour policies. He lavishes praise on Hammersmith Academy in West London, at which pupils “wear a smart suit, are expected to behave with respect and to be in school ready to learn, but also they do lots of pastoral care”.
But Zahawi wants to probe why schools with similar intakes are seeing different attendance levels. He thinks it partly comes down to school culture, and holds up Hammersmith Academy in London – again – as an exemplar.
“The pastoral work that the school does, the relationship they have with parents…they can have really meaningful conversations and have that support,” he says.