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'Shake-up could put schools in danger'

Published date: 17 December 2013 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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CONCERNS have been raised that a proposed shake-up of two secondary schools in Wrexham could lead to the closure of one or more junior schools.

Last week members of Wrexham Council’s executive board voted to go out to consultation on options to improve both Ysgol Clywedog and Rhosnesni High School.

The move comes after both schools were placed into special measures by Welsh education watchdog Estyn earlier this year.

The three options being considered are:
l Supporting and challenging both schools to improve while remaining in their current form.

l Creating a through-school for three to 16-year-olds at either or both schools or

l Combining them into a single through school for three to 16-year-olds with different phases of education on different sites. But Little Acton councillor Bill Baldwin has voiced fears that the creation of a through school could lead to junior schools being closed.

The report which went before the executive board highlighted over 700 surplus spaces at the two struggling schools.

Ysgol Clywedog had 240 surplus places as of September 2013, with Ysgol Rhosnesni having 479.

“Where are they going to get these extra pupils? They’re going to come from the junior schools,” said Cllr Baldwin.

“I’m concerned about this and the message needs to get out there so we can find out if any schools are earmarked for closure.  I feel the management at the council is not strong enough and they’re looking for an easy option. They’re rushing things through to executive board before it’s been scrutinised.”

A Wrexham Council spokesman said: “No decision has been made as yet, but we would encourage as many people to take part in the consultation as possible.”

People will have until mid-February to put across their views via the survey, which can be found at www. surveymonkey.com/s/towncentreschools

A preferred option will be identified and brought back to the executive board in March.

If the preferred option includes significant changes to the ways in which either school operates, a further, detailed, public consultation will take place.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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