IN the press release by Max Atkins, Divisional Secretary of the NUT, he states that he wrote the Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, in January requesting that the final state of the application for a Free School should not be signed off.

Thank goodness Michael Gove took no notice.

Cllr Susan Loudon should know better than to spread unfounded rumours regarding the Atherton Community School.

Max Atkins states that the school opened with 41 students, making it more than 50 per cent empty.

This isn’t true as he has obviously no idea how many students it was funded for in 2012/13.

He then quotes Cllr Loudon’s welcoming news that four more pupils had left the school, another fact that isn’t true.

He then states that he has once again written to Mr Gove, requesting that the free school should be closed on December 31 and that the pupils go to nearby excellent local authority schools.

Which local authority schools does he mean?

The only school that will be left is Westleigh High School which, I understand, has been allocated in the region of £2.5 million to expand, from the pot of money which should have been spent on the ill-fated 14-19 Centre in Atherton; was this a bid to stay with the local authority?

Bedford High School has applied to become an academy, Fred Longworth is already an academy, and gives support to the Atherton Community School, and St Mary’s is Roman Catholic school.

The Labour group on the council and the NUT can’t accept the fact that Atherton Community School is a success, despite all their efforts to discredit it. Also, their recent despicable ploy of not allowing the Free School to inform potential students leaving councilcontrolled high schools next year of the opportunity to attend their own Sixth Form College in Atherton.

Cllr Norman Bradbury Hillside Avenue Atherton