WORRIED pupils took to the streets to protest amid fears over the future of their sixth form.
Youngsters from Flint High School armed themselves with placards and a petition after a newly-established sixth form collaboration between their school and St Richard Gwyn High School, called ‘6’, was threatened with closure.
They handed out leaflets and gathered signatures from residents in Flint on Friday ahead of a consultation meeting at 6pm today at Flint High.
The meeting follows Flintshire Council outlining an option that would lead to the potential closure of the sixth forms as part of its ‘21st Century Schools’ programme.
Flint High headteacher Pamela McClean said: “Having a sixth form here means we have specialist subject teachers, some of whom would have to go if we lost our sixth form.
“Learners across all year groups benefit from this expertise and this will enable us to maintain our excellent standards.
“Let’s not forget that our sixth form is a vital part of our school family.
“I strongly urge everyone to come to the consultation meeting tonight and to have their say on the response forms which councillors will have to take into account before taking any decisions.”
Actor and former pupil Ian Puleston-Davies, who officially opened the newly-refurbished sixth form at Flint High in September, said: “I cannot believe that this situation is happening.”
Puleston-Davies, who plays Owen Armstrong in Coronation Street, added: “Flint High School is very special to me and I can see the tremendous amount of work that has been put into the whole school to improve all aspects.
“The new sixth form facilities are fantastic. It’s a wonderful learning environment and it’s clear to see how happy the students are.
“I truly hope it will remain open for the benefit of the students and the people of Flint.”
Just a few days ago Flint High learned it had retained its Band One status for the second year running.
It is one of just two secondary schools in Flintshire to achieve such an accolade, the other being Mold Alun, and one of only 20 in the whole of Wales.
A Facebook campaign, called ‘Flint High School: Save our 6’, has also been set up in a bid to save the sixth forms, with more than 200 people joining.
The scheme proposed to make changes to the sixth forms at Holywell High School, Connah’s Quay High School, John Summers High School in Queensferry and Elfed High School in Buckley.