The Coalition's callous decision to cancel new schools across our borough has brought disappointment to many and thrown plans into chaos. Wigan Council have been left in a very difficult position by the Government and have had to pick up the pieces.
As we map a way ahead for secondary education in our borough, our first responsibility is to the students and parents most affected. I believe they should be given maximum choice and support.
For this reason, I will be writing to the Chief Schools Adjudicator to ask that his office refuse the application by Wigan Council to bring forward the original closure date of Hesketh Fletcher High School by one year.
A commitment was given to a group of students in Year 10 that they would be able to complete their education at the school and I believe that this should be honoured. I pay tribute to the Governing Body, the Head Teacher, staff and parents at the school who continue to do their best for the pupils in the most difficult of circumstances.
The original consultation on closure was explicitly linked to the expansion of Westleigh High School. Now that these plans have changed, people in Atherton must have a new opportunity to debate new long-term options for secondary education. That is why I am also calling for a new public consultation on this broader question.