Wigan school faces closure as pupils leave in droves

A Wigan school is 'in crisis' as grave concerns over standards cause pupil numbers to plummet.

Thursday, 10th May 2018, 9:41 am
Updated Thursday, 10th May 2018, 12:06 pm
In 2014 the school had exceptional results

Mossy Lea Primary School in Wrightington could face closure if it does not find more students to fill the books in September.

A whistleblower told the Wigan Observer that conflicts between management and staff have resulted in a complete “lack of structure” causing families to look elsewhere for their children’s education.

The source, who is close to the school, said that the children had been taught the same curriculum in both terms.

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In 2014 the school had exceptional results

Desperate parents are begging authorities for answers claiming that they are being told “nothing” about the future of the school.

One mum said: “I think there have been problems for a while. We seriously need some stability.

“We are losing children hand over fist and it will be closed. We need answers because come July it will be too late for us to find our children a new school.

“We have gone from 46 pupils to 19 this year and it looks like there will only be six next year, in the whole school.”

The anxious mother said that a new teacher who has been drafted in to help has been a “shining star” for the school so far and she hopes that he will stay on to try and get the establishment back on its feet.

In an unprecedented move, the National Association for Head Teachers sent out a mass email warning its members not to apply for a headship role at the school without consulting a union caseworker.

The email read: “This is a very rare occasions and is therefore important. NAHT have been dealing with a very difficult situation at Mossy Lea Primary School.

“The position is now critical and we have there issued the following advice/warning. If you or any of your senior staff wish to consider applying for the headship, please do nothing until you have spoken to the senior caseworker.”

Members of the Local Education Authority were also called to step in when permanent teaching staff were signed off. Authorities have remained tight-lipped about the nature of the problems but a source close to the school told the Observer that there had been a “serious rift” between former members of management and teaching staff.

Susie Charles, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “I am aware that the school has experienced a difficult period of late. I’d like to reassure everyone that the council is fully committed to supporting the school and making sure that pupils receive the best education possible.

"An experienced headteacher has been seconded from an outstanding school to work with Mossy Lea, and additional governors are now in place to support the leadership and management of the school.”

An Ofsted inspection carried out last year highlighted growing problems. Inspectors wrote: “Governors have been unable to halt a decline in the school’s effectiveness since the previous inspection.

School leaders have not consistently been held to account for the school’s performance and, as a result, there has been an increase in inconsistencies in the effectiveness of teaching and learning and outcomes for pupils.