Council not expecting to receive full amount bid for to alleviate problems at Flintshire primary schools

Reporter:

David Humphreys

Flintshire Council does not expect to receive all the funding it has applied for to alleviate problems at primary schools.

Damien Hughes, the authority’s senior manager for school planning and provision, said the council would be ‘extremely happy’ to receive capital funding to remedy space issues at Westwood Primary School in Buckley.

Flintshire has made a bid for
£1.8 million to the Welsh Government as part of its reducing class sizes and raising standards grant totalling £36m.

With £20m of capital funding available, the council has put forward an application to help transform Westwood and Ysgol Glan Aber in Bagillt.

Addressing the bid process at the environment overview and scrutiny committee meeting at County Hall yesterday, Mr Hughes said there was ‘no easy fix’ to the issues at the Buckley school.

A cash injection of £500,000 would extend and remodel the main building in order to accommodate the nursery provision under one roof, rather than at the adjacent Westwood Centre.

Mr Hughes added that the cash would be ‘a bonus if we can get it’ but didn’t expect the entirety of the funding it had asked for.

A further £1.3m was bid for to address the lack of space at Ysgol Glan Aber in Bagillt.

As reported in the Leader on Monday, such is the lack of space, the school’s ‘high number’ of additional learning needs pupils are ‘often’ seen working in the headteacher’s office and in the corridors.

There is no kitchen on site and school meals are delivered from the Holywell Learning Campus almost two miles away while the school hall has already been transformed into two classrooms while a building next door is used for lunch provision.

A small ‘vital’ area set up for children who need intervention to support their social skills can also often be disturbed by other children and staff walking through to get to other areas.

Flintshire made the bid for extra cash despite setting aside almost £1m of its own funds to improve conditions at the school.

Mr Hughes said Ysgol Glan Aber had been established as the school with ‘the greatest need’ for improvements and the closure of the nearby youth club meant the site had become available for usage on behalf of the school.

In bidding for both schools, Mr Hughes said it was felt that it was a good opportunity to ‘get them sorted in one fell swoop’.

The council is expected to receive feedback on their submission from Welsh Government next month.

Email:

david.humphreys@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Leader

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