New ways of working, cross functional teams and pedal power – just a few of the challenges for the “behind the scenes” teams at Warminster.

When the School closed at the end of the Spring Term, the Domestic and Catering teams were furloughed along with a number of the Maintenance and Grounds team. Those Maintenance and Grounds colleagues that stayed on looked after the site ensuring safety and compliance, but also doing those seemingly ‘small’ jobs that there is often no time for like repairing and painting window surrounds.     

Over the past month, as we have gradually welcomed back pupils, we have also welcomed back a number of our colleagues from furlough. The Maintenance and Grounds team are back and working hard to ready the site for September;  we are working on a number of projects as well as managing office moves and classroom refurbishments. In these times of financial constraints we are doing all we can to create maximum impact with minimum spend – a challenge that is being met with enthusiasm and creativity.     

Welcoming back the pupils has also meant a considerable amount of reading for the Domestic Bursar to ensure that we are meeting all the Government guidelines for cleaning and hygiene. Whilst there are some additional requirements, for example the focus on touchpoints throughout the day, it has become apparent that our cleaning regimes have always been excellent. Deep cleans are not new to the team; these have always been part of their remit and they continue to do these thoroughly and efficiently. My thanks goes to the ladies who have been back supporting the School over the past month and I look forward to welcoming back the rest of the team towards the end of the summer to prepare for the return of the pupils.     

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the ladies in the Bursary for their continued support and ability to adapt to new ways of working and changes from usual practise – particularly in relation to the word “furlough”. I have been unable to be in the office regularly as, like many others, I have had children at home to motivate through their remote learning, however, I have always known that the support is there and I only have to ask and files/information have been sent over (often by pedal power as our IT Manager kindly acted as courier between Warminster and Frome). 

The Marketing and Admissions team, supported by other admin staff have also worked tirelessly in these strange times to manage enquiries, keep the office running and latterly arrange suitably socially distanced visits. The IT team, although reduced in numbers, has provided timely and effective help to all those requiring assistance to work remotely, pupils and staff alike. My thanks goes to all staff who have played a part in maintaining some sense of “normal” for colleagues, parents and pupils.   

This summer will, in many ways, be quieter than usual for the teams on site as we would usually have summer schools and groups of visitors. We will however use this time to ensure that the site is prepared for the return of teachers and pupils and we look forward to September, whatever it may bring.

Katie Mines​, Bursar & Clerk to the Governors