17 March 2023

Image of WLD Update for Parents & Carers - Friday 17 March 2023

It has been an unsettled couple of weeks with emergency school closure due to a drains issue, disruption due to snow and the national strike action.  Many thanks to all students and staff for keeping school as calm and focused as we have.   I fully understand that the decision about the school buses causes significant issues for parents, carers, students and the school.  When I sent out the new costs to families in my update on 3 March I gave the current cost of the 3 year bus contract as a bit over £600,000.  I also gave you the new costs of at least £1.2 million.  Put another way, in order to keep  the bus prices at anything like the current levels, we would have to increase our subsidy of the buses from around forty thousand to a bit less than a quarter of a million pounds per year.  The government does not give schools any money to fund transport so that is a quarter of a million that we don’t have.  We are going back out to the companies to see if they will tender for a reduced service at the increased prices and we will keep you updated with developments. 

On a much more positive note, we welcome Mrs Ardern, our new Headteacher, on Monday and she and I will undertake the “handover” process over the next couple of weeks before I leave at the end of the term.  As I have said to everyone, I believe that this change is in the best interests of Walton-le-Dale – new leadership always brings positive ideas and energy to the development of the school.  My departure is nothing to do with the students, the school or its community – it is all to do with the wider politics of the way the government runs schools.  I am very grateful for the support of parents and carers over my years at Walton-le-Dale – I first came here as Deputy Headteacher in 2007 – and I am pleased to have been able to contribute to the strong, distinctive and inclusive ethos of the school over my time here.  I wish everyone – students, staff, families and the wider community all the very best for the future.

All years

 Year 7

  • Please see letter sent out from Mrs Bailey earlier in the week.

Year 8

  • HPV immunisation: Intrahealth are due to visit school on 21st April 2023 to administer the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccination to all Year 8 pupils.  Please complete the form to CONSENT or REFUSE the vaccinations by following this link:  https://www.nhsimms.uk/HPV/information?Id=119743&Type=HPV,  This link has now been extended and will now close at midnight of the 20th March so please make sure this is completed as soon as possible. If you have made an error or are unsure whether you have already completed a form, please contact us on the telephone number below.  0333 358 3397 - Option 3, Option 1.  Please do not attempt to complete another form.  
  • Progress Evening: This will take place on Wednesday 22nd March from 4pm-6.30pm. This will be a physical event in school and will take place in D Block, with entrance via D2.  Appointments must be booked via SchoolCloud using the link here. Bookings are open but will close 30 minutes before the event is scheduled to start (ie at 3.30pm on 22nd March).

Year 11


Best wishes

James Harris



Posted by James Harris

Category: WLD Updates