3 March 2023

Image of WLD Update for Parents & Carers - Friday 3 March 2023

Good afternoon,

A slightly more detailed update today as I need to give you some information about school buses.  I mentioned in last week's update that the tender for the service from next term is much greater than the current prices.  I think that it is appropriate to be absolutely transparent with all parents and carers about the figures.  I have summarised the situation in the following points:

  • As I said at the start of January, on the day we broke up for the Christmas break Moving People submitted their notice for the bus contract citing a lack of financial viability. The final day of their provision will be the final day of the Spring term – Friday 31 March.
  • Moving People currently run 3 buses to Blackburn and 2 to Preston.  In addition they run one "late" bus to Blackburn and one to Preston 3 afternoons each week.  
  • 292 students travel to school by Moving People bus at the moment – 171 from Blackburn and 121 from Preston.
  • The cost of the current 3 year contract is £625,456 in total.  We charge £570 per year for each student – this is £3 per day (£1.50 per journey).  
  • We do not receive any money from the government to pay for bus transport.  We subsidise the buses £120000 over the 3 years from the school budget.
  • We have received 2 valid tenders for the provision from next term and the pricing is very significantly greater than the current contract.
    • Company 1: £1,120,833 in total for 3 years.  With the school continuing our subsidy of £120000 the bus pass price would rise to £1,131,25 per year, which is £6 per day.
    • Company 2:  £1,500,613 in total for 3 years. Continuing our subsidy of £120000 the bus pass price would rise to £1,561,53 per year, which is £8.22 per day.
  • We have been in contact with many other schools in South Ribble, Preston and Blackburn, as well as LCC School Transport and we have found that everyone is facing the same issue of steeply rising costs of transport.  All schools who run buses are reviewing their provision. 
  • In many cases public service routes would now be a much cheaper method of transport.
  • This sharp increase in price – at least double the current costs – is a very serious issue.  We are looking for a way forward and will publish further information shortly.

All years

  • Attendance: Please can you continue to notify us of student absence via the Classcharts Absence Reporting App.  This system is working well.
  • Homework:  We are trialling a new way of recording and recognising homework up until Easter.  There have been assemblies about it all week with the students and more information will be sent to you early next week.
  • Spare Uniform: If any families have any spare uniform that their child has grown out of and in good condition, we would be grateful if you would be kind enough to send them into school for other students to borrow. We are in need of trousers, skirts, blazers and possibly shoes. Thanks for your help.
  • NEU Strike Days: Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th March: Please note that the next NEU strike action will take place over two days - Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th March.  The strike action is not against the school, it is against the government. As I said in my previous messages, most of our teachers belong to the NEU and therefore we cannot open the school safely on that day.  All teachers who are not on strike will deliver their lessons from school using Teams following their normal timetables and our usual online provision is available to all students.  Year 11, in particular, have a comprehensive revision guide to guide their study on those days.
  • Interim Headteacher: As you are aware, I will leave Walton-le-Dale at Easter.  The governing body of the school have decided to nominate an interim headteacher to lead the school whilst a permanent replacement is sought.  I am delighted to announce that Mrs Ardern, currently Deputy Headteacher at Parklands High School in Chorley, has been nominated to be the interim Headteacher at our school from Easter.  Mrs Ardern and I will work closely together over the coming weeks to ensure that there is a smooth transition between us.
  • Ski Trip - Easter 2023: Students going on the Ski Trip at the end of this month, please see the important message sent out regarding passports and medical cards.

Year 8

  • HPV vaccination: Reminder to complete the EConsent form which has previously been sent out - the link will close on 13th March.  Any queries please contact the Immunisation Team direct on 0333 358 3397 option 3 followed by option 1

Year 9

  • The immunisation team will be in school on Thursday 9th March to administer the DTP/ACWY vaccination to those students who missed their vaccination on 10th Feb.

Years 9 - 11

  • National Careers Week: Please see email sent out earlier in the week from our Careers Co-ordinator Miss Minton regarding National Careers Week Guide and NHS Creating Careers Platform

Year 11

  • French and German: The French and German Mock Speaking exams will take place Thursday 9th and Friday 10th March.  Please see emails sent out regarding when your child will be having theirs.
  • Revision Guide:  the revision process has now started across all subjects and the revision guide is a vital document.  It has been emailed to all students, physical copies were given out at parents & carers evening and it is available on our website.  It is essential that every Year 11 is spending a couple of hours each evening on revision - the guide tells them exactly what to do and how do do it...  Success in the summer depends upon hard work now.
  • Revision sessions and strategies:  We will be sending out a list of revision sessions and information about revision strategies in a separate update early next week.


Lots of information this week!  Have a good weekend.

Best wishes

James Harris


Posted by James Harris

Category: WLD Updates