School is reported to police

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A WIGAN school has been reported to police after claiming an election leaflet was misleading voters.

Liberal Democrat councillor Robert Bleakley has written to the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police after headteachers at St George’s Central CE Primary School, Tyldesley, issued a letter to parents raising concerns about the party’s campaign leaflet ahead of the local elections.

The Focus newsletter, which features a photograph of the school premises in Darlington Street, discusses the Government’s pupil premium scheme, providing an extra £430 for each poor pupil, which Lib Dem councillors say will amount to £125,000 funding for schools in Tyldesley.

Schools receive the money for every pupil whose parents have an annual income of less than £16,000, and headteachers will be encouraged to spend it on reducing class sizes or more one-to-one tuition.

But the school claims information in the leaflet is inaccurate and accused Lib Dem councillors of publishing a photo of the school without their permission.

A letter issued by headteachers Gillian Fisher and Pauline Greenhalgh, reads: “You may have seen a flyer sent round just before the half-term holiday from local Lib-Dem councillors.

“On the front page is a photograph of our school (taken without permission) and a baner headline implying schools are gaining funding somewhere in the region of £125,000. I want to assure you that this is certainly NOT the case and like all other public services school budgets will also be feeling the brunt of the Coalition Government cuts this year. I hope this clarifies the matter.”

Coun Bleakley said: “The letter implies that we have done something wrong in publishing a photograph taken outside the school without permission. In fact, permission is not required to take and publish a photograph of any public building.

“More seriously, the letter implies that I published misleading information in the leaflet. The funding referred to has been costed using figures from Wigan Council and is accurate. The school has referred to a net reduction in funding in order to give the impression that we are not telling the truth.”

No one from St George’s Central Primary School was available to comment.

The full list of candidates in the Tyldesley ward: S Hellier (Lab); K McManus (Lib Dem); D Ollerton (Con).