The end of the Autumn Term 2019, took a particularly tricky turn for us at SOTA Reading when the Baylis Court Trust, who took over Reading Girls School two years ago, suddenly increased our hall hire by £10,000 per annum with just 6 weeks written notice.
Educational Trusts taking over the running of schools can be a positive move for the schools themselves, but if the profitability of a Trusts’ stakeholders undermines their espoused values and ‘promises’ of working with the local community, then organisations such as ours that provide vital services to local children and famillies will ultimately be priced out of business. The impact of this on the community needs to be considered and cared about. In this instance, it sadly was not.
This gross escalation of venue hire, after 15 years of being very happily at Reading Girls School (where we started with 8 children and a tape recorder!), was not only a huge shock but completely unworkable, and we were sadly forced to look for a new home.
It has certainly been a challenging time, but we are delighted to tell you that we have secured ourselves a fantastic new home with excellent facilities, in a school of outstanding excellence that is just round the corner from where we have happily been for 15 years. Huge relief all round!
From 11th January 2020 we will be at Abbey Junior School and we can’t wait to get settled in. The Abbey Junior School is a beautiful building which has recently undergone an extensive and incredibly striking extension of it’s facilities, as you can see in the pictures here.
We will now be able to enjoy running our dance, singing and acting classes in purpose built dance studios and performance spaces and we can’t wait to get started.
The moral of this story is folks – when life gives you lemons – you make lemonade!!!!
We wish you all a very Happy New Year, in our fabulous New Home.
Classes recommence on Saturday 11th January.
Abbey Junior School
30 Christchurch Road
2020 is going to be terrific year and the start of a brand new chapter.