MP’s fears for Skerton pupils

Skerton High School.
Skerton High School.

MP David Morris has told council council officers that Skerton High pupils would not be provided for at other schools in the district.

He aired his concerns in a letter to the Lancashire County Council consultation about the future of Skerton High School, which is threatened with closure due to falling numbers and poor grades.

In his letter, Mr Morris urged the county council to transform Skerton High into a centre of excellence for children with special educational needs.

He highlighted the fact that 52.9 per cent of pupils at Skerton have a special educational need and that if Skerton does close, other local schools will not have the ability to provide for these pupils.

Mr Morris wrote: “The consultation lists other schools that these pupils could go to should the school close.

“On that list are the girls’ and Lancaster Royal Grammar Schools, which require academic criteria to be met before admission; these schools are not appropriate for the children at Skerton.

“There are two faith schools, Ripley and Our Lady’s, and then three other non-faith schools. If parents do not want their children to go to a faith school they are not left with many options.

“This is made even fewer given that many children have experienced bullying at other schools.”

The Morecambe & Lunesdale MP also blames the county council for falling roll numbers.

“I have been in discussions with the school governors and have been informed that Lancashire County Council have been threatening this school with closure for many years,” he said. “This would explain the low pupil numbers as parents will not send their children to a school if they think that the school may close.”

Mr Morris added that he is “greatly worried” about the plan to close Skerton High and highlights the excellent work that is done at the school in providing pastoral care for vulnerable young people.

“The vast majority of pupils at Skerton High School come from troubled circumstances at home, have faced bullying at other schools or have special educational needs,” he said.

“They may not be students who will excell academically, although Skerton does have a few of these pupils, but at Skerton they are nurtured to achieve the best they are able to achieve.

“I would urge you to take seriously the numerous consultation responses from the children and take into consideration how this decision will affect them.”