School amalgamation bullying fears raised

Reporter:

Garth ApThomas

FEARS have been raised about disruption and bullying if two Deeside schools are merged.

Community leaders have expressed their worries about a controversial proposal to close John Summers High School in Shotton which would amalgamate with Connah’s Quay High School.

Speaking about the two Deeside communities at a special meeting of Shotton Town Council last night, Cllr Gary Cooper said: “There’s a difference between them. Never the twain shall meet.

“There has always been disruption and bullying going on and that’s a fact.”

Cllr Ron Davies, who represents Shotton Higher on Flintshire Council, said the county needed to go back to the drawing board.

Cllr Davies stressed John Summers High had an important place within the heart of the community, saying: “They should leave the school alone. They are doing an excellent job.”

Cllr Davies called on the meeting to support a move by the opposition Labour group on Flintshire Council for the authority to halt the current consultation process and undertake a re-think.

He also advocated Shotton contacting neighbouring town and community councils seeking their support to present a united front. Councillors voted in favour.

Cllr Cooper backed Cllr Davies’ views, adding: “I feel passionate about this. There is a brilliant headteacher and staff. They follow him and that is carried down to the children.

“Anyone visiting the school can see how much the students enjoy going there and the Estyn report has been classed as excellent.”

Cllr Ann Minshull, who represents Shotton West on the county council, said at the weekend she and a number of students had been collecting signatures from the public in favour of John Summers High. Cllr Minshull said there had been a strong body of support for the school which enjoyed a family environment.

Cllr David Evans echoed her sentiments saying former pupils had approached him at the weekend emphasising how proud they were to have gone to John Summers High.

See full story in the Leader

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