THE FIRST free school to open in the borough celebrated getting the first pupils through its doors with a special Founder’s Ceremony.
Atherton Community School, which is run by social charity Chapel St, put on displays of drama, music and dance from some of its first pupils who were welcomed to the new school last month.
Staff, pupils, parents and friends of the school were all among the guests at the ceremony, which also included a speech from the Chapel St chair Baroness Maeve Sherlock, a former special adviser to Gordon Brown during his time as Prime Minister with a brief including tackling child poverty and welfare reform.
The ceremony was also attended by local politicians including the MP for Leigh Andy Burnham, Bolton West MP Julie Hilling and officers from Wigan Council.
The staff and pupils at the new school were also presented with special Founder Member badges by Baroness Sherlock during the ceremony.
The Founder’s Ceremony took place at Atherton Community School’s temporary site in Atherton Town Hall, which will house the new establishment for its first year until it moves to a purpose-built facility on the site of the former Hesketh Fletcher secondary school.
Free schools, championed by Education Secretary Michael Gove, allow parents, teachers, charities and community groups to apply to the Government to set up new schools in response to perceived demand for educational facilities in an area.
For more information, visit www.athertoncommunityschool.com