Peter Fletcher

Peter Fletcher was educated at Stand Grammar School, Edge Hill College of Education and The University of Manchester. He was Head of Physical Education and also taught English from 1965 to 1977 in Wigan. He then moved into community education and was Head of Orrell Community Education Centre from 1977 to 1985, when Wigan Council first developed a community school programme, coordinating a wide range of classes and activities particularly encouraging dual use of school facilities with the local clubs and societies. During this time, he started training part-time adult education teachers and then, in 1985, moved to Wigan and Leigh College as head of the teacher training unit, responsible for enabling college staff to obtain teaching qualifications and develop as professional educators.

In 1995 he took early retirement from the college and his work expanded to include training trainers from the NHS, Bruche Police Training School and social services staff, developing teaching and presentation skills.

In 1998 he set up a training and consultancy company and coordinated the Graduate Teacher Programme for Manchester University and also worked for Centra, specialising in training and development work, based around assessment and evaluation procedures, that involved working with government departments in Botswana and Romania and university departments in the USA.

In 2003 he created a unique school-based graduate teacher training programme for Wigan schools, independent of any university, and approved and validated directly by the Teacher Training Agency. This enabled a group of ten primary schools and five high schools to be directly involved in teacher training and assessment for the first time. His company trained school-based mentors and operated and assessed this program until he retired in 2009.

He is co-founder of the Wigan Jazz Club and Wigan International Jazz Festival with Ian Darrington but his interest has been as a listener and organiser rather than as a musician. He assisted Ian on WYJO trips to Hong Kong and Poland and provided the band with their first ever gig at the community centre in 1978.

From 2012 to 2017 he worked as a volunteer for Age U.K. helping people with benefit claims and advocating on their behalf, reinforcing his belief that social isolation is a major problem for the elderly.

His particular interest is in developing community-based musical activity, encouraging people to participate and enjoy socialising as well as playing. He is also keen to develop links with local groups who can use music to assist people with social or mental health issues.

He now works as Co-director of The Music Continuum and joint promoter of the Wigan International Jazz Festival.