I am writing to keep you informed about the arrangements for Ben Carrier’s funeral. As you may already be aware, the funeral is taking place at 11.00am on Friday 7 December, at St. Hilda’s Church, West Cliff, Whitby, YO21 1QT. I have spoken to Ben’s Mother yesterday and she, and their extended family, have been overwhelmed by the messages of support they have received from the local community and, in particular, from the young people that Ben knew. Recognising their feelings, Ms Carrier has extended an invitation to the funeral to Ben’s close friends.
I am sure that you will understand that I cannot, for obvious safeguarding reasons, allow students simply to sign out of school mid-morning on Friday to attend the funeral. If your son or daughter wishes to attend, please telephone the College (01947 602406) or email (email@example.com) to explain his/her absence that morning. Following the advice that I have received from specialist services in the local authority, I would strongly advise that you accompany your son or daughter to what might be an upsetting experience for them. Following the church service, there will be a private burial service for immediate family members only.
At College, we will mark this very sad day by coming together for a quiet reflection at 11.00am. We will also find a way for the whole College to remember Ben in the New Year. As a sign of respect towards Ben and his family, and recognising that this will be an emotional day for all of the students in College, I have decided to postpone the Year 11 trial examinations planned for Friday. These will be rescheduled for a later date, sometime before Christmas, and we will advise Year 11 students and their parents in due course.
These last few days have been very difficult for all members of our school community, staff and students alike. Thank you for the support you have given us. This has been most appreciated. In writing to you today about the arrangements at College on Friday, I am sure that you will appreciate the balance I am having to maintain between responding to the emotions and sensitivities of Ben’s close friends and maintaining normal College routines – including school uniform, and safeguarding the students in my care.