Hands off our school

Reporter:

Matt Jones

MORE than 1,000 people took part in a protest march with the defiant message – ‘leave our school alone’.

Campaigners joined a march through Mynydd Isa yesterday to oppose proposals to close Argoed High School and merge it with the Elfed High School in Buckley.

Parents, pupils and members of the wider community gathered with placards and donned homemade T-shirts to voice their anger at Flintshire Council’s proposals.

Parent Carla Stubbing, of Mynydd Isa, said: “More than 1,000 people turned up and more joined us on the march. The atmosphere was brilliant. This was a strong message to send and we hope somebody takes notice.

“The turnout is fantastic. We are very pleased. The parents have felt unheard during the consultation period.

“The meeting held at the school was a shambles.

“Argoed is a fantastic school. We want to send the message that there is no problem at Argoed and to leave our school alone.

“The problem with surplus places at Elfed should be sorted out there. Everyone here does not want change.”

The hour-long march started at the school gates at 2pm before proceeding along Bryn Road, Chambers Lane, Moel Gron, and also taking in Wats Dyke Avenue and other roads before ending back at the school.

Merging Argoed with Elfed is one of a number of proposals the council is looking at to reduce surplus places in the county’s schools.

Other options under consideration include merging John Summers High School in Queensferry with Connah’s Quay High School.

The council also proposed creating a super-school in Holywell with a primary and secondary school on one site.

The estimated total cost of the project could be as much as £200 million.

A consultation is now being undertaken to gather people’s opinions on the proposed changes.

However, plans hang in the balance after a cut in Welsh Government funding meaning the council has to pay half of the cost instead of 30 per cent.

See full story in the Leader

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