Academy is to lead rural hub

A leading Lancashire secondary school is planning to join forces with an major academy group - across the border in Blackpool.

Thursday, 25th May 2017, 1:42 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:31 pm
New head prefects at Garstang Community Academy pictured with headteacher Alisdair Ashcroft Michael Fisher Head Boy and Jasmine Jolly Head Girl. Assisting them will be Matthew Jennings & Myles Sutcliffe as Deputy Head Boys and Faye Mower and Lucy Hodson as Deputy Head Girls.

Garstang’s community high is one of only a handful of standalone academies in the Lancashire Education Authority area and caused a storm of protest when it broke away from county control five years ago.

Now, the Bowgreave academy is to join forces with the Fylde Coast Academy Trust and lead the organisation’s rural hub from September after governors voted unanimously to join.

The new venture has to be approved by the Regional Schools Commissioner.

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Garstang Community Academy Headteacher Phil Birch

The multi-academy trust includes seven schools, mostly in Blackpool with two more besides Garstang, in the process of joining.

Garstang’s headteacher Phil Birch has been on secondment as executive principal with the MAT since January. His deputy Alasdair

Ashcroft is now principal.

He said: “Being part of an innovating and invigorating organisation like FCAT will enable Garstang Community Academy to continue to evolve and move forward as a school.

Garstang Community Academy Headteacher Phil Birch

“In uncertain times nationally, the opportunities this collaboration will bring, including excellent training opportunities for our team, increased financial security, and an exciting new ‘Lead-School’ role for GCA will help us secure a resilient and outstanding provision in our area for future generations of children.”

Tony Nicholson, chief executive officer of FCAT added: “As a growing and ambitious multi-academy trust with a proven track record of raising standards through successful collaborative working we are excited by the prospect of Garstang benefitting from and adding expertise to our proven leadership and high quality teaching teams.