As we finish today for a long weekend off school, I wanted to write to you to say how proud I am of everyone in our school and its wider community – teaching and support staff, colleagues from Whitby Underground and the Prevention Service, and most importantly our wonderful students – who have all been so upset about Ben’s death this week. For many of our young people this is their first significant bereavement and they’ve needed, and will continue to need, our support in helping them grieve and come to terms with their loss. The response from the local authority and associated support services has been fantastic, and we’ve received many messages of support and condolence, not least from our colleagues at Eskdale School. In turn I have been in contact with Ben’s parents, on behalf of all of the students, staff and governors at Caedmon, to tell them that they are very much in our thoughts at this saddest of times for them.
For many students, having these next 4 days away from college will help in coming to terms with Ben’s passing. Others I’m sure will continue to need support from family and friends. Elsewhere on this website we have posted details of the Winston’s Wish website that exists to help young people in these circumstances, as well as the contact details for Compass Buzz, the local authorities counselling service. More locally, colleagues from the Prevention Service will be available in the Drama/Music building opposite the main entrance on our Scoresby site during late morning and early afternoon on both Friday and Monday.
When we return to school on Tuesday 4 December we will quickly need to re-establish a normal routine. I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing our Year 11 students well with the two weeks of trial examinations that they are about to start. As soon as we know the date of Ben’s funeral, we’ll talk to students about how best to commemorate him on this day. They’ve already made several very thoughtful suggestions and we’ll advise parents and carers about our plans as they are finalised in the coming days.
Thank you for your support during what has been a very sad week in college.