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Queensferry, Shotton & Connah's Quay Area Review

January 2014

Consultation relating to the lowering of the age range of Queensferry Primary School from 4-11 to 3-11 in order to establish a nursery provision.

Queensferry Primary School - Consultation Booklet

Please note this consultation ended on 10 March 2014.

March 2013

Responses were reported to Councillors (Cabinet - 19th March 2013) who approved the preferred option for each of the three areas.

Statutory Notices were published.  This stage allowed one month following the date of publication for anyone to lodge a formal (written) objection to the proposal.

Any objections will be considered by the Welsh Ministers at Welsh Government, in which case, the final decision on implementation will be with the Minister with responsibility for education and skills.

Report to Cabinet - 19.03.2013

November 2012

Earlier this year, a number of consultation events were held in Holywell, Buckley, Queensferry and Connah's Quay to seek people’s views on proposed options to modernise secondary schools in the county.

Attended by Governors, Teachers, Staff, Parents and Carers, the events provided the Council with a wealth of feedback.

During the first round of consultation, Councillors committed to undertake a second stage of consultations before making any final decision about whether or not to formally progress with one single proposal for each area. This second stage of consultation was scheduled to begin on Monday 12 November, and a number of events were held over a two week period.

Consultation Event Dates

These events are to make sure that the views of parents, students, governors, staff and unions are heard and help the Council decide whether to progress to the formal statutory stage and publish a single option for each of the three local areas.   Invitation letters have been sent to parents who have pupils in the schools that may be affected and consultation booklets will be dispatched shortly and are available below:

Buckley, Mynydd Isa & Mold Area
Holywell Area
Queensferry, Shotton & Connah's Quay Area
Children & Young People - School Modernisation

There are a number of ways people can let the Council know what they think. They can:

  • ask questions and let us know their views at these meetings
  • complete a questionnaire and return it to the School Modernisation Team, Lifelong Learning, County Hall, Mold, Flintshire, CH7 6DN;
  • or alternatively;
  • put your responses in writing to the School Modernisation Team, Lifelong Learning, County Hall, Mold, Flintshire. CH7 6DN

PLEASE NOTE THIS CONSULTATION PERIOD HAS NOW ENDED.

July 2012

At its meeting on Tuesday 17 July 2012 the Council's Cabinet approved a further round of informal consultations, on a single preferred option for Queensferry, Shotton & Connah’s Quay.

The preferred option is:

Preferred Option – Develop 3-16 facility at John Summers High School with a Post-16 hub at Connah’s Quay High School.

There is a high level of public opposition to amalgamation of John Summers High School with Connah’s Quay High School. Consultees have presented a range of practical challenges and difficulties that make such an option difficult to support.  There is strong interest in the creation of a new Sixth Form centre at Connah’s Quay to benefit learners from Deeside, for which there is funding available from the Welsh Government. There is also a creative option put forward by John Summers’ High School Governors to work more closely with local primary school provision in a new community 3-16 arrangement.  These options are the emerging preference for this area.

A small secondary department within a 3 to 16 ‘all through’ school would not meet resilience criteria within Flintshire’s School Modernisation Strategy. However, it is in line with emerging models in Ceredigion and Shropshire. As one school, it would present a larger critical mass which would better justify the continuing secondary provision in an area of social need. We will also need to continue to further assess implications arising from the growing Northern Gateway programme. It therefore deserves further consultation and business case planning.

This option, if approved for consultation, requires additional consultations with the Croft Nursery, Queensferry Primary School and St Ethelwold’s Primary School in relation to the creation of additional child care and nursery class provision for the area.

Queensferry Primary School and St Ethelwold’s School are the only schools in Flintshire without nursery provision. The transfer of provision to these schools would facilitate better delivery of the foundation phase. This transfer would also offer opportunities for existing nursery staff.

The Flying Start provision which currently shares the Croft site is an important programme which targets support to families with children under four years of age in areas of high social need. As this programme is to double the numbers of children who are supported over the next four years, additional accommodation will be required, which would be available at the Croft site if the nursery provision was transferred to the two schools.

This option would provide a positive opportunity to enhance the overall provision for children and families in the area.

The full report is available here .

June 2012

Additional responses - file available for inspection at Entrance 3 Reception, County Hall, Mold

February 2012

To help Councillors make informed decisions, some of the issues you may consider putting forward as evidence and views are:

  • the standard of education to be provided in the area, including provision for pupils with additional learning needs, delivery of the Foundation Phase and the 14-19 Transformation Programme;
  • the need for particular provision in an area, for example to meet increasing or decreasing pupil numbers or parental demand for Welsh medium or faith education in the area;
  • meeting equality legislation and tackling child poverty;
  • accessibility of schools, particularly on the journey times to school;
  • maintenance of the Welsh language;
  • provision of community focused facilities (e.g. leisure, culture, health) or on social cohesion;
  • making all school buildings "fit for purpose"; and
  • likely cost-effectiveness of proposals.

Following a series of workshops held for all Flintshire Councillors, the following options for the Queensferry, Shotton and Connah’s Quay area have been formulated and agreed.

Options     Description
Option 1 Replace John Summers High School with a new building (11-16 school and Post- 16 hub at Connah's Quay High School).
Option 2 Remodel John Summers High School (11-16 school and Post- 16 hub at Connah’s Quay High School).
Option 3 Develop a 3-16 facility at John Summers High School with a Post- 16 hub at Connah’s Quay High School.
Option 4 Amalgamate John Summers High School with Connah’s Quay High School utilising the present sites.

A consultation booklet is now available and it provides more information around the options and how the consultation process will work.

Copies of the booklet have been delivered to all affected schools.

This consultation closed 27 April 2012 .

Please note: Consultations also take place with Children and Young People in the affected schools.

Background Documents

Connah's Quay, Queensferry & Shotton Area Questions

December 2011

A special meeting of Flintshire County Council to discuss school modernisation was held Wednesday 14 December 2011.

Special Meeting of Flintshire County Council - 14.12.11
Part 1- Agenda - 08.12.11

September 2011

The Consultation events scheduled to take place at Connah’s Quay High School on Monday 12 September and at John Summers High School on Tuesday 27 September 2011 were stood down.

Previous Information

A meeting of the Council's Executive was held Monday, 5 September 2011 at County Hall, Mold to consider a report on  school modernisation.

The purpose of this report is to consider the process and the preparatory work required for re-opening the public consultation on Area Reviews of Secondary School Provision following the recent Special Council Meeting (in accordance with the Council’s School Modernisation Strategy and the 14 – 19 Strategic Outline Case).

Executive - Minutes 05.09.11
Part 1 - Agenda - 31.08.11

August 2011

A full meeting of Flintshire County Council held on Wednesday 17 August 2011 recommended that a halt be called to the current school local area review consultation process.

The mood of the meeting was that, whilst the need to review the future of schools, particularly surplus places is understood by all, the Council has agreed to take a step back and then re-open consultation on the widest possible set of options with the fullest information available. The Council is acutely aware that public confidence in the early informal consultations is mixed and that we need to reconsider how best to re-open consultation with elected members, schools and other interested parties having more say in its design.

The Council’s Executive will now consider the consultation process and timeline during September. Details of the date, time and venue will be available on the website as soon as they are known.

Public consultation will not resume until October at the earliest. In the meantime, the planned consultation events are stood down.

June 2011

A number of consultation events were held in the following areas:

Buckley, Mynydd Isa & Mold

Holywell

Queensferry, Shotton & Connah's Quay

These events were to make sure that the views of parents, students, governors, staff, unions and the wider community are heard and help us to develop the next steps for education in these local areas.

Below you will find a summary of the reasons why we need to modernise our secondary schools which you will hopefully find useful.

Why changes are needed

  • As the local authority, Flintshire County Council is committed to working with schools and communities to secure high quality learning opportunities for everybody.
  • It’s important that we make sure that we use the resources we have (by resources we mean people, funding, buildings, information and technology) efficiently and effectively so that we provide value for money whilst improving our schools and supporting our learners to achieve.
  • The challenge we currently face is that we want to make sure all our schools are ‘fit for purpose’ when there is limited money to deliver increasing expectations. Too many of our schools are in inappropriate buildings that can’t meet the needs of pupils and staff.
  • Pupil numbers are generally going down, and, as a result, there are more surplus places (empty desks) in some of our schools.  All Welsh Councils have been instructed to reduce surplus places in schools by the Welsh Government, Estyn (the education and training inspectorate for Wales) and the Wales Audit Office. Our funding may also be affected in the future if there are too many empty places.
  • Surplus places also mean that buildings are under-used, and maintaining those buildings also incurs costs. Any savings made from reducing the surplus can be spent paying for teachers, teaching assistants, learning materials and improving classrooms and other places of learning.
  • In Flintshire, there are three High Schools where surplus places are now over 25%.  In other words, the schools are only three quarters full. These are: Holywell High School, Elfed High School and John Summers High School.
  • The Council has a ‘2009 School Modernisation Strategy’. This strategy says that consultation will take place to develop a plan for the future of local educational provision under a number of circumstances, which includes when schools have more than 25% surplus places.
  • As this is now the case, we are now starting a consultation about the future organisation of secondary schools in the three areas of the county.
  • Secondary schools are also affected by the planning and provision of post -16 education and training. The 2009 Flintshire School Modernisation Strategy states that a sixth form should have a minimum of 120 students to be financially workable, and to offer the breadth of curriculum choice that is required.

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