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Consultation over future of Denbighshire’s Catholic schools

Published date: 10 December 2012 |
Published by: Helen Davies
Read more articles by Helen Davies


 

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.

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  1. Posted by: Digitaldaz at 20:37 on 10 December 2012 Report

    I know that a small amount of St Brigid`s parents are opposed to the merger. Maybe instead of complaining about you wanting things to stay the same, you should embrace this merger and the up to date school that is going to be built. Seeing that Blessed Edward Jones has just had a fantastic ESTYN report and could offer your children the very best education and support in the area. A new faith lead school with up to date facilities can only be good for our and future children.

  2. Posted by: The_literary_lady at 05:11 on 11 December 2012 Report

    As the only American at the school, the staff and pupils at Brigid’s treated me like family when my parents were thousands of miles away. I had FANTASTIC teachers and role models – ones I have truly emulated. Young people THRIVE at Brigid's and go on to lead truly successful lives - my class proves that: we practice law and medicine; we are educators and business owners. It must be allowed to continue to educate and empower young women and men to achieve their highest potential.

  3. Posted by: PG1971 at 08:44 on 11 December 2012 Report

    Re Digitaldaz. Please don't imply that parents who oppose the merger are Luddites who are scared of change. St Brigid's is a unique school and every aspect that makes it unique would be lost in this merger, that is why parents are opposing. You seem to be the kind of person who was responsible for knocking down all those beautiful buildings and replacing them with large concrete housing estates in the 60s. There are plenty of Blessed Edward's parents opposing the merger too!

  4. Posted by: aldavies at 10:29 on 11 December 2012 Report

    Education across Wales is in a terrible state, our children our being let down when compared to those in Scotland, N Ireland and England and there needs to be change. BEJ has had an excellent Estyn report and St B’s, in academic terms, is the 4th best school in the whole of Wales. Maybe, rather than merging these two schools into another large, indentikit, failing school, they should consider why these schools relatively are prospering and change all the other failing schools accordingly.

 

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