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School modernisation

Published: 14/01/2016

Flintshire County Councils Cabinet will consider the many responses from the recent statutory consultation on the proposals to close Ysgol Maes Edwin, Flint Mountain and Ysgol Llanfynydd when it meets on 19 January. Councillors will consider all the consultation feedback from pupils, parents, carers, teachers, governors and the Education and Youth Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Should Cabinet decide to proceed with closure, the proposal must then be published by way of a Statutory Notice when there will be a 28 day period when people can object. A further report will then be brought back to Cabinet who will make a final decision in the Spring. In accordance with the statutory School Organisation Code, a formal consultation period started on 21 October and ended on 2 December. The County Council produced a consultation document in line with Welsh Government Guidance which was published on the Councils web site and sent to stakeholders. A supplementary version of the document was produced for children and young people specifically written and presented to enable them to understand and engage with the consultation process. Options under consideration were: retaining the status quo, a federation or closure. Consultees were able comment through an online questionnaire or by completing a form at the back of the consultation document and also through email or letter and at the consultation meetings. Although not part of the Welsh Government guidelines, Council officers held meetings with governors, teaching and support staff and parents/carers/guardians to give people the opportunity to ask questions and make further comments. The report to Cabinet includes a summary of the issues raised by consultees, a response to each of the issues raised, and Estyn’s view in full (as it is provided in its consultation response) of the overall merits of the proposals. Flintshire County Councils Chief Officer for Education Ian Budd said: The County Council is carrying out a challenging programme of school modernisation. It wants to provide the best possible opportunities for learners to achieve their full potential in schools that are fit for purpose and deliver first-class education in the 21st Century .The Council must make sure that its network of schools meets both current and future educational needs and that education provision is high quality, sustainable, takes place in improved buildings and meets the need to provide the right number of school places in the right locations. Councillor Chris Bithell, Cabinet member for Education and Youth said : The Council recognises that doing nothing means higher pupil teacher ratios across all schools as revenue funding reduces. In these times of austerity, with unprecedented cuts in central government funding, we no longer have the funding to subside schools with low pupil numbers.