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Decision to shut Holywell school after numbers decline

Published date: 13 March 2013 |
Published by: Staff Reporter
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A PRIMARY School is to close following a decision by a Welsh Government Minister after pupil numbers slumped to just eight.

Ysgol Rhes Y Cae will close on August 31 with its remaining pupils being moved to neighbouring schools.

The Leader previously reported how the annual cost per pupil at the school near Holywell had spiralled to £14,029 compared to the county average of £3,139 because of dwindling numbers.

Flintshire Council deputy leader, Cllr Bernie Attridge said: “No one likes to see any school closing but the reality is that it is unsustainable and numbers are so bad that there was no other real option.

“It is a shame but at the end of the day we are subsidising a small school when the money could be better spent on other educational facilities.

“In all honesty the school should have been put out of its misery years ago.”

Closure of the school was first proposed in 2010 when pupil numbers dropped to 18 but the plans were put on hold after objections from parents and teachers. Ysgol Rhes Y Cae has capacity to provide education for 45 pupils.

The move is expected to save Flintshire Council £119,328 per year after the Welsh Government’s education minister, Leighton Andrews, confirmed his decision yesterday.

A Flintshire Council spokesman said: “Owing to a fall in numbers of pupils in the school, the council and the Diocese of St Asaph undertook consultations with the school community in relation to the proposal to close the school.

“Following the statutory process, the proposal was sent to the Welsh Government for a decision by Welsh Ministers.

“Children registered at the school will continue their education in neighbouring schools.

“Council officers and the Diocese will work with the remaining families at the school and staff during this period of transition.”

Flintshire Council cabinet members backed Ysgol Rhes Y Cae’s closure when they met last June prior to a period of consultation with parents.

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