Flintshire school consultation was ‘poorly run’

Reporter:

Matt Jones

FLINTSHIRE Council’s controversial consultation over school modernisation was poorly run, it has been claimed.

Treuddyn councillor Carolyn Thomas, vice-chairman of the council’s lifelong learning scrutiny committee, said there has been a lack of information, consultation and evidence provided to support the case.

She said: “Consultation events have been poorly run and the timescales were too short. You can’t have a time-limited drop-in session for such a great number of stakeholders.

“The same questions are getting asked and answers repeated.

There was not enough information on cost.”

Hundreds of furious pupils, teachers and parents packed into Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold last week to watch community leaders vote to halt the consultation process.

Council leader Arnold Woolley says a meeting to debate the issue will be held in September before an initial consultation process restarts.

The proposals are being drawn up to deal with surplus places at schools in the county.

Cllr Thomas said: “Flintshire needs to do more to acknowledge and promote the specialist success and existence of their Welsh medium schools.

“There is no evidence to support that addressing surplus places saves money.

Additional space in schools within fluctuating populations, or where development is planned, can be decommissioned and used as community facilities and then brought back into use as classrooms as the population grows.”

Options under consideration during the consultation included merging John Summers High School in Queensferry with Connah’s Quay High School.

Proposals were also put forward to create a ‘super school’ on the campus of Holywell High School for both primary and secondary education.

Plans for schools in Buckley, Mynydd Isa and Mold included retaining separate sites at Argoed and Elfed high schools, but amalgamating them into one school; closing Argoed School and establishing a new building at the Elfed site or increasing post-16 provision at Mold Alun.

See full story in the Leader

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