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Plea for answers in school saga

Reporter: Karen Doherty
Date online: 14 July 2017

THE council has been urged to keep people up to date on the Saddleworth School saga.

Construction was originally due to begin on a replacement school in 2014, with the £19 million secondary to open in autumn 2015.

But this was derailed when opponents to the chosen site in Diggle won a high court battle which ruled that the plans to build the school in Diggle were unlawful.


Oldham Council and Saddleworth School are working with the Education Funding Agency (EFA) to manage the project for the Department for Education.

Councillor John Hudson said: "I am not criticising the council leader or the Cabinet for the situation, I know it's not their fault but the information coming out is very slow and we need to be kept up to date."

He also asked if the council risked losing the money for the new school because of the delay.

Council leader Jean Stretton did not answer this but said: "At this stage we are still awaiting final information from the EFA."


We'll done Cllr Hudson for raising the ongoing saga of delays in replacing the crumbling Saddleworth School. It won't be long before the Government lose patience with Oldham and reallocate these funds to the replacement of another school in the North West. The NIMBYs of Diggle should be ashamed of themselves as 1200 Saddleworth children continue to be educated in substandard conditions. Come on Oldham take some action before hundreds more Saddleworth children are disadvantaged by inertia.

The fact that the present Saddleworth school is "crumbling" must reflect on the School Governors' neglect and mismanagement of the maintenance budget over many years. Saddleworth children deserve better. The new school, when eventually delivered,must be under "New Management".

If the buildings are as bad as some are saying there are now two schools in Oldham which are not be use and yet could be. Why not use the closed Free Spirit acadamy as an annex in the meantime?
Usually though when the precious darlings have to move outside Saddleworth the problems are no longer as severe as they first appeared to be.

As a Diggle resident I urge the council to push ahead with the school construction in Diggle. This is the view of the majority of Diggle residents. The persons objecting are a minority and do not represent the mainstream opinion.


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