MP's crisis plan for failing school

Headteacher Dave Fann
Headteacher Dave Fann

A failing school is the subject of an emergency action plan after the local MP called in education chiefs to save its future.

Rosie Cooper, West Lancashire MP, has called in help after two teachers and two governors resigned amid management chaos at Mossy Lea.

The Wrightington school faces closure after droves of parents pulled their children from the establishment over concerns of a “serious decline” in standards over the past three years.

Numerous sources have stated that if the current situation continues, there will be just six students attending in the next academic year.

Anxious parents contacted Mrs Cooper MP describing a “crisis situation” and alleging a lack of teachers due to staff sickness.

Governors are also faced with a shortage in applications for the headship due to an email sent from the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) advising its members not to apply for the role.

In a statement, Mrs Cooper explains that on the same day as the unprecedented NAHT email, two teachers left the school with immediate effect, based on union advice.

Following the further resignation of two governors, the NAHT lifted its “ban” on members working at the school.

The MP said: “A situation where a school is shedding teachers, shedding governors and shedding pupils cannot be allowed to drift and must have an immediate recovery plan implemented.

“Having met with Lancashire County Council’s executive director of education and children’s services John Readman and chief executive Angie Ridgwell recently, it was agreed that serious action was needed in schools across West Lancashire, from the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) provision, to Burscough Priory and now including Mossy Lea Primary.

“Lancashire County Council (LCC), as the local education authority, have assured me that a range of immediate actions is being taken to halt the current decline, with a radical overhaul of the governing body and experienced governors coming on board, and access to enhanced training and support from LCC and the Teaching School Alliance.

“However, these measures will only go some way to stop the current decline and start to give confidence back to parents that the school is moving in the right direction, what we need to see now is a sustained period of positive action and rebuilding so that parents can have faith in the school again.”

Following reports of children being pulled from the school by parents due to the uncertainty, Mrs Cooper contacted the executive director of education and children’s services at Lancashire County Council to seek an urgent update on the situation at the school and query why families were not being kept in the loop.

The council assured Mrs Cooper that they had drafted in the “experienced head teacher” of an outstanding school in Preston to oversee operations two days a week.

As well as his head teaching accolades, Dave Fann is also a National Leader of Education and is a serving Ofsted inspector.

The MP has also taken the issue up with the Education Secretary, Ofsted chair and NAHT president.