A COUNTY COUNCILLOR has slammed Denbighshire council after the closure of a school in his ward.

Last year staff and students closed the door on Ysgol Rhewl for the final time in its 100 year history.

Denbighshire County Council shut the small village school, on the outskirts of Ruthin, expecting most of the pupils to move to Ysgol Borthhyn and the new Rhos Street School in the town.

But figures released by the council show that of the 18 primary school age pupils still at Ysgol Rhewl when it closed, only eight moved to Rhos Street and three to Ysgol Borthyn with the rest dispersed around other Vale of Clwyd schools.

Merfyn Parry, Llandyrnog county councillor, argued that the closure has split the community with village children being sent to several different schools.

Denbighshire Free Press:

Cllr Merfyn Parry

He said: “It was a very sad day when Ysgol Rhewl closed its gate for the last time, the community fought hard to try to show a need for the local bilingual village school. Rhewl village as we can see today is growing in size with new houses and losing the school will definitely change the community.

“Children will go from the same village to different schools which splits the community. Fortunately the village has formed a good youth club to keep the youth connected to each other.”

He also criticised the way the council closed the school, saying the process lead to a decline in pupil numbers.

“The long process Denbighshire took in closing Ysgol Rhewl with all the other conflicts going on at the time over Ysgol Pentrecelyn, Llanfair DC and Ysgol Llanbedr DC did not help the children at Ysgol Rhewl.

"Due to the uncertainty, parents moved their children to other schools, haemorrhaging the school numbers from over 50 down to 22, as stated in the report going to the committee.

“Although the council’s intention was for the children to move to Rhos Street School on Glasdir Estate, less than half the remaining children and parents chose to go there choosing Ysgol Borthyn, Ysgol Bryn Clwyd Llandyrmog and Ysgol Llanbedr DC which eventually stayed open.

"The local support and the staff at Ysgol Rhewl were superb and dedicated to the children right up to the end.”

The impact of the closure on the village will be considered by members of the council’s communities committee on Thursday.

A report to members of the committee said: “The process of support began following the decision by cabinet to close the school and the importance of ensuring the opportunities for the school community to be engaged in events around the establishment of the new buildings for Ysgol Pen Barras and Rhos Street School.

"This included invitations to parents and pupils for the consultation events for the new building, and ensuring involvement of pupils in site visits to the construction site, so that they would be afforded the same level of involvement as pupils from Ysgol Pen Barras and Rhos Street.”