A CONSULTATION about controversial plans for the future of faith education in Denbighshire is underway.
Parents have been urged to put forward their views on the issue, which could see St Brigid’s school in Denbigh close and merged with Rhyl Catholic secondary school Blessed Edward Jones at a new location.
“It is your chance to express your views to the local authority,” chairman of governors Tony Hannigan said in a letter to parents.
“The governing body would strongly encourage you to take part in the consultation so that the voice of St Brigid’s is clearly heard.
“I would urge you to raise your views with your local councillors, assembly members, Members of Parliament, and your local clergy.”
Proposals to ask parents for their views about the potential to move towards a single school which could provide a joint Catholic and Anglican provision were approved when Denbighshire County Council’s cabinet met last month.
Both the Anglican Diocese of St Asaph and the Catholic Diocese of Wrexham are backing plans for a new school.
“St Brigid’s is in a unique position in that the buildings and the grounds belong to the St Brigid’s Trust, and not the church or the local authority,” said Mr Hanigan.
“Therefore the local authority can only access the assets of St Brigid’s if the trustees decide to relinquish control leaving us in a strong position to ensure that any new proposals meet the needs of the St Brigid’s community.”
He added: “The governors’ position on this issue and the requirement to participate in the consultation is driven by the condition of the school buildings.
“If we do not agree to the discussions it has been made clear that further capital expenditure will not be forthcoming and we will have to secure the finance for improvements by other means.
“At present these means are not forthcoming from any source and unless we can come up with any alternative funding arrangements we will rely on cooperation with Denbighshire County Council as the current fundholder.”
Meetings at St Brigid’s will take place during the week commencing January 8 to provide the opportunity for parents to discuss the consultation directly with representatives from Denbighshire County Council.
A council report says: “School improvement officers for Denbighshire County Council are of the view that improved joint working between the two schools would lead to clear education benefits for current and future pupils.”
The consultation is set to take place between December 6 and January 29.