Dear Parents and Carers,

I am writing to thank you and your children for a good term. I have seen children from the age of four up to the age of eighteen, all united in their hard work, and I have seen a team of extremely hard-working, very dedicated staff looking after those children, sometimes in difficult circumstances. You know that we are facing difficulties in finding high quality supply staff, like all schools are, and I thank you for your patience as we do our very best to meet that challenge. Staff at both schools have gone over and above this term to provide continuity for the children. I am very grateful to them all for their work and willingness to play a part in a great team effort.

You will have seen a letter earlier today about the trial next year of the two-week October break. To remind you, the time will be made up at SWA by adding five minutes to periods two and four each day, and a WPA by reducing lunchtime to 50 minutes each day. I will monitor the impact of those changes closely and, if we need to think again about how we make this work, we will.

The response from staff at both schools was in favour of the change, as was the response from parents and carers at SWA. Parents and carers of children at WPA were more concerned about the change, but much of that was due to the confusion over whether we were going to extend the day or reduce the lunchtime. There were a number of comments objecting strongly to the extending of the day but very few objecting to the reduction of lunchtime. I understand parents’ concerns and will work hard to make sure that, as we pilot this change, we maximise the impact in allowing us to recruit the best teachers and support staff to work with your children whilst minimising the impact on families.

Many of you are attending the Spring Twilight Session musical showcase at SWA tonight. I’m sure it will be excellent. There are tickets still available through parentpay. I am hoping that we will be able to put on a join performance with children from both schools before the end of the year. I’ll keep you updated about that.

Thank you again for all of your support over this term.

Have a great Easter break,

Andy Hunter

Executive Headteacher

Samuel Ward and Westfield Primary Academies