Big shake-up ahead for three school

Headteacher Emma Lightfoot outside St Johns CE Infant School

Headteacher Emma Lightfoot outside St Johns CE Infant School

Major changes are being made to three Leigh schools in a shake-up of education.

Leigh CE Infant School, Leigh CE Junior School and St John’s CE Infant School will all become primary schools, teaching children right through from the age of four to 11.

“It’s a huge thing to happen to us, to change the organisation and the form of school that we have all known and loved for some time.”

Emma Lightfoot

It means that rather than changing schools at the end of year two, pupils will be taught in one place until they move up to high school.

The changes will be introduced from September and bring the schools in line with others around the borough.

Emma Lightfoot, headteacher at St John’s, said: “The beauty of this new arrangement is that children don’t have to go through that break in education. They get the continuity and the consistency throughout their learning journey.”

The same number of pupil places will be available across the three schools, but they will be distributed differently.

Leigh CE Junior School will accept reception children for the first time at the beginning of the new academic year, along with some pupils from Leigh CE Infants who are moving into year three.

There will be no changes for the remaining pupils at Leigh CE Infants and those at St John’s, who will all continue at their current schools.

As part of the changes, Leigh CE Infants will become Leigh St Mary’s CE Primary School.

The other schools will be known as Leigh CE Primary School and Leigh St John’s CE Primary School.

Building work has been carried out to extend the schools ahead of the changes.

At St John’s, remodelling work was carried out between last summer and Easter and two classrooms were added.

The school will also have a new logo and its uniform will change from red to grey and yellow.

Mrs Lightfoot said that while some people had questions about the shake-up, the changes had been “extremely well supported”.

She said: “It’s a huge thing to happen to us, to change the organisation and the form of school that we have all known and loved for some time. It’s a massive change but it’s a positive and exciting change and a change I think is needed to reflect the times.”

Alan Lindsay, Wigan Council’s assistant director for education, said: “Once children are admitted at reception there will now be no need for them to transfer until they are of secondary age.

“We believe that this continuity of primary education gives stability and supports effective learning outcomes for all pupils, as there are no changes of school between key stages one and two.”