A HEADTEACHER has published a book chronicling the challenge of leading his school through the pandemic.

Alan Garnett, the head at North Primary School and Nursery, in John Harper Street, Colchester, penned a weekly diary for the Gazette throughout the Covid crisis.

His comments, opinions and observations provided a written record of how his school continued to operate during such unprecedented times.

Now those diaries have been turned into a book called A Headteacher's Diary: Trying To Lead a School Through a Pandemic.

Mr Garnett said: "Over the past year, every member of every school community has faced any number of personal and professional challenges. Myself included.

"(Former MP and High Steward of Colchester) Sir Bob Russell suggested I keep a diary of how the unfolding events of the pandemic were impacting on school life.

"He said it would be a fitting addition to the school archive as we were three months into a year of celebrations to commemorate our 125th anniversary.

"His proposal included ghost-written entries which covered the lead up to March 23, 2020.

"Just over a year later, I was writing my 44th weekly episode, all of which had been published in the Gazette.

"Now here they are, in full, in one place. A chronicle of how one school community reacted to unfolding events."

Gazette: Hot off the press - the front cover of Alan Garnett's book

Mr Garnett's 64-page colour book has been published by Independent Publishing Network and costs £10.

It is on sale in Red Lion Books, in High Street, and all proceeds will go to North Primary School and Nursery.

"If the book has any merit, it's in the description of how one school reacted to the unfolding events, in real time," added Mr Garnett, who has been headteacher at North since 2001.

"This chronicle captures the experiences of my school community as I recorded them.

"Hopefully the diary will resonate with school staff and families in every school community across the land.

"The pandemic was our shared experience and we all faced the same challenges.

"I wanted to convey the sense of a school community pulling together and hopefully that's what I've done.

"So many people have done remarkable things over the past year.

"Many have simply been remarkable and I think this diary captures that spirit."

The book can be ordered online HERE.