Sir –With regards to your report on plans to demolish site of King Alfred’s Academy meeting with opposition from residents.

Your article quotes a resident as saying that “[executive] headteacher Simon Spiers has no right to want to demolish a great school”.

Firstly, Mr Spiers is executive headteacher of the Vale Academy Trust (comprising six partner schools, including King Alfred’s Academy (KAA)). I – Jo Halliday – am headteacher of KAA.

Secondly, there is no intention by any individual or committee to demolish a great school.

On the contrary, we are resolute to move KAA into a new era, making its buildings fit for purpose for generations to come. Fond memories of a building 40 years old must not cloud the need for progress for future generations.

Equally, we cannot pretend that teachers driving across Wantage between lessons is acceptable for outstanding education or teachers’ employment conditions when an alternative solution is a real possibility. A large team has worked tirelessly to realise our new building on Centre Site that has transformed life for our students.

This is the same team who have carefully considered, planned and debated over the past three years as to how to provide outstanding facilities for our community for the future. The students’ awe when we showed them around the new building was absolute confirmation that we must continue to improve their facilities.

We are disappointed that this singular view has been allowed to dominate the front page. I hope, in years to come, that we can all be proud that we finally made sense of our wonderful school.

Jo Halliday (headteacher) & Gina Hocking (chair of governing body)
King Alfred’s Academy