Speak up on school plans

Standish High School
Standish High School

Residents have been urged to voice their concerns about a controversial plan to move a successful Wigan high school out of local authority control.

A consultation is currently ongoing about proposals for Standish High School to become an academy alongside Southlands High in Chorley.

However, ward councillor Gareth Fairhurst is worried the school-run feedback process is not wide reaching enough and has started a 10,000 strong leaflet campaign.

Standish residents have therefore been urged to take part in an unofficial referendum on the subject.

Coun Fairhurst, whose children are either currently at the school or hoping to join in the coming years, said: “Parents have been told Standish is going to be the lead school and will help Southlands but have not been told what will benefit their children in the deal.

“The consultation is only asking parents with children currently at the school not those with youngsters in years five and six at local primary schools who will be affected very soon.

“So I have posted these leaflet to every house in Standish - at my own expense - so we can see what people think of the plans.”

Standish High is one of the borough’s top performing local authority run schools but could join Orrell’s Abraham Guest Academy and Fred Longworth in Tyldesley in wielding independent control.

The official public consultation on the plans will

continue until the end of March.

Wigan Council has remained diplomatically neutral on the subject. Coun Jo Platt, portfolio holder for children and young people, said: “The Government hinted what their plans are relating to all maintained schools becoming academies in the autumn statement. We already have a number of schools that are academies within the borough and believe it is our role at

Wigan Council to ensure we maintain the excellent relationship we have for the benefit of our children and your people regardless of their structure.”

Although the National Union of Teachers (NUT) has voiced its reservations with borough branch secretary Max Atkins denouncing the plan.