The school will open as normal on Tuesday 20 March.

Please note: The school will open as normal on Tuesday 20 March.


Dear Parent/Guardian


I am once again sorry that I felt it necessary, for health and safety reasons to close the school this morning. As stated in last night’s website, social media, email and text communications the intention was to plan to open as normal, with the caveat of an update via the same communication channels by 7.30am if there were any significant changes.


As previously described, the decision to remain open or to shut is based on a balanced assessment of the following factors:


  • The immediate local weather conditions
  • Local transport issues and the associated risks for students, parents and staff travelling to and from school
  • Specific road conditions affecting our nine school-run minibus routes
  • Wider weather and transport issues and how this will potentially impact on staffing levels for the day.  As significant numbers of staff travel in from as far as Oxford, Swindon, Reading, Basingstoke, Winchester and Southampton, the key issue is whether you can guarantee that lessons will be able to run and students be effectively supervised during breaks and lunchtimes
  • The immediate state of the site and whether it is likely to deteriorate or improve, with a related assessment of health and safety issues
  • The forecast for the remainder of the day


In relation to the above, my concerns this morning specifically related to:


  • The treacherous nature of many major local roads following the further late-evening/early morning snowfall - the A4 was ungritted, for example - as was Newbury Town Centre and all immediate roads surrounding the site
  • Compacted ice remaining on the school site, despite the best efforts of the Site Team to clear it; given the size of our site and the need for student movement in the open between buildings every hour I could not guarantee that this would be fully safe until mid-morning. On balance, a later opening was judged to be more disruptive than a complete closure, linked to...
  • Some forecasts indicating further heavy snow during the course of the morning
  • Specific problems relating to dangerous travel conditions on a number of the minibus routes
  • Mounting concerns from staff contacting the school with local travel problems




Unfortunately, the ‘tipping point’ on these issues was only fully apparent once an assessment was made on site this morning.


The site has now been made safe and is ready for a normal opening tomorrow.


Thank you for your understanding and forbearance. I can only hope that this is the now last of our snow closures.


Best wishes


Yours sincerely




D J Peaple