Parents take fight to the top

Skerton Community High School.
Skerton Community High School.

Parents have vowed to take their fight against controversial proposals to close Skerton High School to Downing Street.

They hope to raise awareness of their feelings about the plans at the highest possible level.

Lancashire County Council officers say falling roll numbers and low grades have led to the consultation.

If the proposals are given the go-ahead, the school would close next summer.

More than 200 parents, children, staff and members of the local community turned out at Skerton High last week to express their concerns at the plans.

And more than 2,000 people have so far signed petitions against the closure.

Robyn Holtham, chair of the Parents’ Action Group, said: “This is without a shadow of a doubt the best school I have set foot in. It has done wonders for my son and I will take this fight as far as I have to.”

Mrs Holtham added that the parents had the backing of the British Institute of Human Rights.

“I am yet to be convinced that what these schools provide can be provided at other schools in this area,” she said.

Skerton East councillor and Skerton High governor Janet Hall said: “It has been staggering how much support there is for this school and how strongly people feel about it.

“It’s important that we stand up and be counted so that the county council hear what we have to say.”

Hilary Chuter, president of the Lancaster and Morecambe branch of the NUT, said the group had agreed unanimously to support the parents’ campaign.

“We want to protect the jobs of any teachers in the school, but more importantly we care about the education of the children,” she said.

“Closing a school like this puts those children at risk and we as a community can’t let that happen.”

Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris vowed to take the parents’ views to parliament.

“On my watch this school is not going to close,” he said.

“Other schools in the area do not want to take these children because they are not equipped to take them.”

A school choir sang at the public meeting and it is hoped they will join parents in taking their petitions to Downing Street later this month.

Meanwhile, meetings were held for parents at Skerton High yesterday, Wednesday, as part of the consultation, which is due to end on October 25.

Anyone with a petition is asked to return it to school by October 18.

n See our letters pages for views on the proposals.

n Go to lancasterguardian.co.uk to see a video of the school choir singing at last week’s public meeting.