A school has said a cyber attack has limited their teaching resources as they gear up to welcome students back.

Maiden Erlegh Trust in Earley has said that they are the victim of a "sophisticated" cyber-attack.

In an open letter to parents, headteacher Paul Gibson said: "We are currently facing some technical issues with our IT systems.

"As a result of this situation, staff at the school do not have access to any teaching resources and very limited access to the technology we have become accustomed to."

To ensure a "smooth start" on Tuesday, September 5, the school has said it will finish early for years eight to 13 to allow teachers to lesson plan effectively.

"This has been a difficult decision to make and would have been very easy to have delayed opening the school, but a smooth start to the academic year is our absolute priority," Mr Gibson added.

"Staff are working extremely hard and strive to do the best by all students."

On the cyber attack, the chief executive officer at the Maiden Erlegh Trust, Jonathon Peck said: "The Trust’s IT systems were accessed by an unauthorised third party using ransomware and resulted in us being temporarily unable to access our network.

"Immediately following the attack, our business continuity plans (including cyber security procedures) were initiated."

"Our systems had the necessary preventative security protocols in place at the time of the incident but unfortunately, as a number of public sector organisations have recently experienced, the criminal attack was sophisticated, and access was achieved.

"The incident has been reported to various organisations including the Thames Valley Police Cyber Unit, the Department for Education, our Data Protection Officer, and the Information Commissioners Office (ICO)."

Since the attack, measures have been put in place to contain and remove the malicious software and the restoration of the systems 

A forensic analysis of the network is being conducted by third-party cybersecurity specialists to fully investigate the circumstances and impact of the incident.

This team will also determine the degree to which personal data has been put at risk.

Maiden Erlegh Trust uses a number of cloud-based systems, which hold the vast majority of personal data - these systems were unaffected by the cyber-attack.

The school added: "The security and protection of personal data is a priority for our organisation, and I assure you that we have been doing, and will continue to do, everything we can to ensure the ongoing resilience of our systems and to prevent a reoccurrence of this type of incident."