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Fate of 11 primary schools now hangs in the balance

Published date: 21 November 2012 |
Published by: Helen Davies
Read more articles by Helen Davies


 

A MAJOR consultation to decide the fate of 11 primary schools will start next year.

Schools could close in the Ruthin area, according to a report by Denbighshire County Council’s education department, which was discussed by councillors yesterday (Tuesday) and highlights high levels of surplus places and use of mobile classrooms.

Ysgol Llanbedr is named within the report as the most serious case for surplus places with 72.7 per cent. Ysgol Pentrecelyn has the next highest figure at 61.7 per cent

Meanwhile Ysgol Llanfair DC has 91 pupils in a school with a capacity for 83.

“The review will result in significant change to the current configuration of schools across the area,” says the report.

“It is likely that proposals emerging following the informal consultation will include school closures, mergers and the creation of area schools. “These changes would facilitate significant capital investment in the area to provide improved school buildings and facilities through a combination of new builds, extensions and refurbishments.”

It adds: “Based on September 2012 data, the authority would need to reduce the number of school places within the Ruthin area by 185 full-time places to meet the 10 per cent surplus places target across the area.”

The council’s cabinet met yesterday to vote on giving the go-ahead for a consultation to carry out a review of primary school provision in the Ruthin area.

Councillors approved the plans for a public consultation, which will start in February 2013.

Reviews of primary school provision by Denbighshire County Council have already been carried out in the Prestatyn, Dee Valley East (Llangollen) and Edeyrnion (Dee Valley West) areas, resulting in a number of changes to school provision, including
school closures, mergers and federations.

This project would initially look at eleven primary schools across the Ruthin area: Ysgol Borthyn, Ysgol Bro Famau, Ysgol Clocaenog, Ysgol Cyffylliog, Ysgol Gellifor, Ysgol Llanbedr, Ysgol Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd, Ysgol Pen Barras, Ysgol Pentrecelyn, Ysgol Rhewl and Rhos Street School.

In addition to the shocking number of surplus places in the Ruthin area, the report also looks at the high number of pupils taught in mobile classrooms.

Ysgol Pen Barras tops the list with 61.9 per cent of capacity provided through mobiles.

The report adds: “The school environment can affect pupil attendance and performance, and many schools in Denbighshire are in need of improvement and modernisation.

“The council is committed to delivering significant improvements to our schools and school facilities so that we can transform the learning environment to support education.

“As part of this commitment, it is necessary to review school provision.”

 What do you think about the proposals for a consultation on the future of Ruthin primary schools? Let us know by leaving a comment below or emailing helen.davies@nwn.co.uk

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