Campaign is launched to save school

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A NEW action group is calling for plans for Wigan’s first academy school to be scrapped.

Save Wigan Schools has been formed with parents, councillors, unions, and school staff who have concerns about Abraham Guest High School’s proposal to convert to academy status.

Governors of the Orrell school have agreed to apply to the Department of Education to opt out of local authority control and run independently.

But the campaign group says staff have not been fully consulted and has organised a public meeting to discuss the academy bid at Norley Hall Cricket Club, in City Road, Kitt Green, on Friday at 7pm.

A spokesman for Save Wigan Schools said: “After the vote by Governors of Abraham Guest to become an academy, we have less than 28 days to persuade them to reverse their decision. This vote affects us all and we want people to hear here the wide range of arguments.

“It’s also a chance to make the Governors think again - they cannot possibly have been told all of the facts. Everyone is invited to the public meeting - parents and pupils at Abraham Guest, everyone who works there, especially the Governors, and anyone who wants a jewel in Wigan’s education crown saved for future generations of local pupils.”

Abraham Guest – in its first full academic year at a new £22m complex – is the first in the borough to sign up to the Government’s controversial academies programme. Any school rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted can be fast-tracked to leave local authority control and run itself independently.

While academies will be able to fix their own pay scales, and set their own curriculum for pupils, they will remain under strict control from the Government.

Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) as well as representatives from Unison, GMB and Unite, have united in opposition to the academy plans.

For more information about Save Our Schools, visit www.savewiganschools.co.uk