THE consultation deadline on a controversial plan to axe a sixth form partnership is looming.
People have just 24 hours left to voice their views on the closure of the sixth-form partnership between Flint High School and St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School, both in Flint.
A campaign involving parents, teachers, students and community leaders has been mobilised in recent months in an attempt to derail the proposal, with residents urged to express their views before the public consultation window ends tomorrow.
A petition against the plans has gathered more than 400 signatures.
The partnership, called ‘6’, was opened to great fanfare last year, with those involved believing it would stave off the threat of closure.
With the consultation deadline approaching representatives from primary schools in the area have now thrown their weight behind the campaign.
John Plunkett, headteacher of Flint Mountain Primary School, said the reputation of the ‘6’ partnership had grown in its first few months of operation.
“It is a fantastic partnership,” said Mr Plunkett.
“We feel it would be a sad day if the sixth form were to go for the community of Flint.
“We are a feeder school for Flint High School and if they are being affected in an adverse manner, further down the line when people are looking for a high school that can provide sixth form provisions, that may impact on our own numbers in the long- term.”
He added: “I support the campaign to keep it open 100 per cent. The life opportunities of these children are being diminished as a result of this.”
The proposals are part of Flintshire Council ‘21st Century Schools’ programme of school changes. The proposals would see a central sixth form hub created on Golftyn Lane, Connah’s Quay and the ‘6’ partnership closed.
John Green, deputy headteacher at Ysgol Merllyn, Flint, said: “Many of our former pupils have done really well in sixth form so obviously there is a big question mark over what’s going to happen [to our pupils] in the future and whether some might bother [going to sixth form] at all.
“I think it would be a great loss to the community.”
The consultation booklet said: “The authority believes the transfer of the sixth form provision to the post-16 hub would have a positive effect on the experience for students, in providing a wider curriculum co-located at a specialist facility.”
Consultations regarding provisions at Holywell High School, Connah’s Quay High School, John Summers High School in Queensferry and Elfed High School in Buckley have already taken place.
Tracy Jones, head of sixth-form at St. Richard Gwyn School, said ‘6’ is an “exciting partnership” between the schools.
“It is a unique opportunity to help shape the future of sixth form education in Flint,” she added.
Headteacher of Flint High School, Pamela McClean, said: “If the closure happens, current year 11 students will be the last to have a choice about their education post-16.
“In the consultation meeting it was said the hub is viable without our students, so why not let us continue to offer our learners the choice they deserve like other areas in Flintshire? I know parent voice can make a huge difference and every voice counts so please make your voice heard.”
People can respond to the proposals by completing a questionnaire online at www.flintshire.gov.uk/areaschoolsreview and click on Flint High School – Consultation Response Form, or putting a response in writing to The School Modernisation Team, Lifelong Learning, County Hall, Mold, Flintshire CH7 6ND.
Following the closure of the consultation period tomorrow, Flintshire Council’s cabinet will discuss whether to proceed with the proposals in March.