Berkshire

Head and two staff 'absent' from school near Reading

Parents have said they are being kept in the dark about the sudden absences of the head, deputy head and a teacher at a Berkshire junior school.

Willow Bank School in Reading informed parents that the staff would be absent for "a period of time".

Wokingham Borough Council refused to give a reason but said an experienced head teacher would stand in.

Thames Valley Police said it was not aware of any police investigation surrounding the school.

One parent said she had been left "mystified and perplexed" by what had happened.

Lucy Heys, whose son attends the school, said: "As parents we have been given no explanation for this but there are playground rumours spreading like wildfire."

A council statement released on Wednesday said: "The education and welfare of the children is the paramount concern.

"The chair of governors advised parents and staff that the head teacher Joe Moyster, deputy head teacher Alan Ridgway and teacher Grant Close will be absent from Willowbank Junior School.

"During this period [parents] will be kept informed about the head teacher's return."

Rachael Wardell, strategic commisioner for children, young people and families at Wokingham Borough Council, told the BBC: "I hope you won't be surprised if I say I can't tell you any more than the chair of governors has already shared with the parents.

"He wrote to them earlier this week and explained the situation to the parents and there's nothing I've got to add to that."

She said no more information would be released until the chair of governors and the school was ready to share more.

She said: "At the moment we, the local authority, and the governing body of the school, are prioritising the education and the welfare of the children at the school, and that will be our focus right now."

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