Alert Section

Holywell Area Review

October 2013

New designs on show

Designs for the proposed new primary and secondary schools in Holywell on view to the public at an informal drop-in event later this month.

One new primary school will replace Ysgol Perth y Terfyn Infants and Ysgol y Fron Junior school on the same site as a new secondary school for 11 to 16 year olds.

The flagship £30 million development will be built on the Holywell High School site on land at the top of the existing school field.

Senior schools’ staff, education officers and architects have been working together to achieve the best design in place. Parents and local people will be asked for their views on the proposed   designs at the drop in event at Holywell High School on Tuesday 22 October between 5.30 and 7.30pm.

The proposed new secondary school will have 600 places and the primary school will have 315 places. Primary children and secondary age students will be educated in the latest state of the art accommodation with all modern IT facilities to assist with learning.

The schools are due to be open from September 2016.

Councillor Chris Bithell, Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Lifelong Learning said:

“The provision of this exciting new learning campus in Holywell is moving closer as we can now share the proposed plans and designs with parents and the local community. I hope people will take the opportunity to come along and let us know their views.

Ground Floor Plan as Proposed

First Floor Plan as Proposed

Second Floor Plan as Proposed

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 is 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


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 Holywell.

The preferred option is:

  • Holywell High School, Ysgol Perth y Terfyn and Ysgol y Fron Preferred Option – Build a new High School for pupils aged 11-16, together with a new primary school to replace Ysgol Perth y Terfyn and Ysgol y Fron.
  • This is an option which would bring together the local infant and junior schools as a new purpose built primary school, at the same site as the High School. This would provide better continuity for learners throughout the full Primary School age range. Key consultation responses identify that Holywell also has a “once in a generation” opportunity to develop a new secondary school to serve local communities.
  • The present Infant and Junior schools are on limited sites and provide little scope for improvement or development for the future. The amalgamation of these two schools is in accordance with the policy of the Council to bring together schools whenever appropriate. The efficiencies that can be provided for both the new Primary and Secondary schools are a significant element in the initial approval for this proposed scheme by the Welsh Government. Establishing the schools on the same site would be a model for future development at other sites, when resources are available. Any savings that can be made by this model increases the affordability and resourcing of the schools. This approach has attracted the support of the local community.
  • The challenge remains over how to meet the expectations of Welsh Government to transform sixth form education for learners from the area. A significant number of responses have expressed a view that post-16 education should be retained at the High School. However, the present number on-roll in the Sixth Form is below the level which would provide financial viability and efficiently sustain the required breadth of curriculum under the Learning and Skills Measure.  Evidence shows that student numbers and outcomes continue to present viability challenges. The provision of grant-funding for this option is allied to the transformation agenda of the Welsh Government which requires Local Authorities to review the sustainability of post-16 provision, particularly where there are small sixth forms.
  • An important element in the sustainability of the post-16 provision is the level of funding which is drawn down directly from the Welsh Government, and does not form part of the schools 11-16 budget delegated by the Authority. Post-16 funding is primarily related to the number of students registered post-16 and the subjects studied and is distributed to schools by the Authority in a way agreed by the High Schools.
  • In the case of Holywell High School, and some other High Schools in similar positions, the funding for post-16 provision has to be topped-up from the delegated budget for 11-16 education.
  • It is right that any new school should reflect the hopes and aspirations of a genuine community school. This must involve working with other further and higher education partners, other public sector bodies and the voluntary sector to secure community and vocational learning, together with leisure opportunities which will enhance the opportunities available to the people of Holywell and surrounding areas.
  • This option is linked with the provision of a Post-16 facility at Connah’s Quay. This option has been approved in principle for 50% funding by Welsh Government.

The full report is available here .

June 2012

  • A report on the Area Schools Review was presented to Cabinet on Tuesday 17 July 2012.
    Full Report - 17 July 2012
  • The Area Schools Review report considered by Cabinet on Tuesday 12 June 2012 was presented to full Council on Tuesday 19 June 2012 for information.
    Area Schools Review County Council Report - 19 June 2012
    Area Schools Review County Council Report - 19 June 2012 - Appendix 2
  • A report on the Area Schools Review was presented to Cabinet on Tuesday 12 June 2012. 
    Secondary Schools Area Review Report - 12 June 2012
  • Report relating to the consultation with parents, governors and staff of affected schools. 
    Children & Young People School Modernisation Responses Final Report
  • Report relating to the consultation with pupils and young people in the affected schools.
    App1 Report on Responses from Parents Gov Staff

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 Holywell area have been formulated and agreed.

Option    Description
Option 1 Reduce the size of Holywell High School.
Option 2 Build a new High School for pupils aged 11-18, together with a new primary school to replace Ysgol Perth y Terfyn and Ysgol y Fron
Option 3 Build a new High School for pupils aged 11-16, together with a new primary school to replace Ysgol Perth y Terfyn and Ysgol y Fron

Consultation booklets for Holywell High School and for Ysgol Perth y Terfyn and Ysgol y Fron are now available. The booklets provide 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 ended 27 April 2012.

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

Background Documents

Holywell 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 event scheduled to take place at Holywell High School on Tuesday 20 September 2011 was 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

The consultation events at Holywell High School were held on Monday 4 July 2011 .

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

Buckley, Mynydd Isa & Mold


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.