Petition launched to save primary schools

One of the three Shevington primary schools under threat of closure
One of the three Shevington primary schools under threat of closure

A petition has been launched to stop a Wigan primary school being shut.

Parents and residents from across the borough have reacted with outrage at the proposal that could see either Millbrook, Shevington Vale or Shevington Community Primary (CPS) closed to tackle a surplus of places in the area.

The petition is calling for all three schools to remain open while campaigns to save each school have been launched on social media.

It was revealed earlier this week that Wigan Council had launched the consultation to find out the views of residents, teachers, governors and pupils on a proposal to close one of the schools that make up the Shevington Federation.

Vicky Galligan, who launched the petition, said: “I started the petition because I feel the council has taken a divide and conquer approach by getting the parents to decide which school goes.

“I have seen a lot of people saying this school has this and that one doesn’t but I thought the best way would be if we all stuck together. That way we might be able to change the council’s mind and save all three schools.

“The situation at the moment is that there are too many school places, but that may not be the case in a few years’ time (especially considering new builds in the area).”

Many parents and teachers have expressed disappointment that the council did not wait for the results of a recent Ofsted inspection at Shevington CPS to be revealed before the consultation was launched.

The result was revealed on Wednesday and the school rated as outstanding but the original consultation documents, released on Monday, contain the school’s previous rating of requires improvement. It does say the school has been recently inspected and a new result due and the council has said it will be updated.

James Winterbottom, Director of Children’s Services at Wigan Council said: “The council is committed to ensuring that every child in the borough has access to high quality education and we fully understand that parents will have concerns and views about the future of the school’s in Shevington.

“This is why we are carrying out a consultation, to set out the challenges of pupil numbers in the area, the impact of this on the schools and children, and to give parents a chance to have their say.

“I would like to reassure families and the community that whatever decision is taken after the consultation it will be taken firmly in the best interest of the children and their future development.

“We hope to address parent’s concerns at next week’s meetings and continue to seek the views of schools, governors, parents and children before making any decision.”

Dates of meetings are listed in the consultation document wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Education/Schools/School-Admissions/Consultations/index.aspx.

To sign the petition, visit change.org and search for Save all three schools in Shevington Federation.

A meeting is also being held for concerned parents of Shevington Vale Primary School at Appley Bridge Community Centre on Monday at 8.15pm.