Saturday, 5 March 2011


Dear All

Notification of the intention of the Governors of Garstang High School to proceed towards Academy status has been given.

This has profound implications for all the pupils, parents, teachers, governors, ancilliary staff: in fact, for the whole community. There are bound to be many questions you would like to ask about it.

As this decision is irreversible - there is no route back once an Acedemy Order has been issued by the Secretary of State - it is vitally important that all parties are fully involved in an open, transparent and democratic consultation process where all the pros and cons may be FULLY scrutinised and any subsequent decisions owned by all of us.

In order to facilitate this, I have set up this web page giving information about Academy status and offering the opportunity for ALL, whether pro or anti Academy, to engage in a full and frank debate about the issues. The site includes links to the Academies Act 2010, articles and other relevant information.

Submissions to the site are welcome from BOTH sides of the debate and comments will be open for everyone to make or just to read. Comments are moderated before publication so please don't worry if they don't appear immediately. Anonymous comments are  permitted.

Please make comments that are, as far as possible, reasoned and evidence based.  Innapropriate language or comments attacking a person rather than an argument (ad hominem) will not be permitted.

Comments from pupils are also welcome, but the spelling better be good!

To comment on any post just click on 'comment' at the foot of each post. To submit a post for inclusion on the page please e-mail it to It is the responsibilty of the poster to obtain any copyright clearances necessary.

Thank you for visiting.  I look forward to hearing your views.

Maurice Pennance - Parent


  1. I am posting anonymously because I work at the school. Many members of staff in the school are angry and frightened by this proposal and there is now a feeling of dissatisfaction and unrest in the workplace. I would urge all parents to do their research -the links on this page are very good-in order to fully inform themselves of the implications of GHS becoming an academy. They should also ensure that they voice their opinions, in writing, to the governing body of the school, or in person to the headteacher. There is to be further consultation with staff over the next few months,with the final decision expected in 2011. It is imperative therefore, that any concerns parents have should be voiced as quickly as possible, because if the decision to go academy is made, it cannot be reversed.

  2. I'm sorry to hear that. In other places the move to academy status has created bitter divisions within schools. I hope that does not happen at GHS - but all the more reason for the debate to take place very widely and openly so that such unrest can be minimised. I hope you can encourage others to join in the debate here.

  3. I am very, very concerned about the impact academy status will have on the local community of Garstang. As a parent of 3 children at Primary School, I strongly oppose the introduction of a two tiered education system, the haves and have nots.

    Also, I would like Mr Birch to inform parents of the practical benefits of academy status. More money? To be spent on what? Accountants for what will effectively be a private business? And if the school mismanages its budget, what then? Receivership? No local school anymore?