Plans to house new school in old?

Hesketh Fletcher
Hesketh Fletcher
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HESKETH FLETCHER’S classrooms may soon re-open.

Campaigners fighting for Wigan’s first free school have announced their preferred site is part of the now closed former high school in Hamilton Street.

Educational charity Chapel St revealed the news at a ‘Meet the Principal’ unveiling with prospective parents and residents this week at the Jubilee Hall.

Chaired by Trevor Barton MBE, who is to be a Governor for the new Atherton Community school which hopes to open this September, the event introduced Principal Designate Elizabeth Haddock who shared her vision for the school and her commitment to providing high standards of education in the town.

She told the gathering that she is “in post” and “fully immersed” in the plans and preparations for the school.

Ms Haddock said: “This is a school that will be created with and for the local community.

“I am really excited about the opportunity to create something that raises young people’s aspirations and impacts the future of Atherton”.

Chief executive for Chapel St, Russell Rook - the organisation sponsoring the school - then went on to announced that their preferred site will be part of the Hamilton Street site.

Now the Surrey based charity, with the support of Partnerships for Schools, have confirmed negotiations are currently in progress with the council.

Chapel St are also in discussion with the local authority about the potential for the school to be accommodated in Atherton Town Hall, on a temporary basis for the first year of operation, in the eventuality that this is needed.

Mr Barton said: “I have been working with Chapel St as part of the Atherton Community School governing board for 12 months to turn a dream into a reality.

“With a talented new Principal and a preferred site established, it’s time to move from what might be to what will be.

“This school proves what is possible when local people share a dream and act positively.

“I’m looking forward to seeing a new school open that involves the whole community,”

Chapel Street organised the evening as part of an official consultation process about the school being held between December 17 and February 17.