TWO schools have joined forces in protest over the threats of redundancy and closure.

A number of teachers and parents from Ysgol Pontfadog in the Ceiriog Valley and Gwersyllt Community Primary School, protested outside the Guildhall yesterday over Wrexham Council's plans.

Staff from Ysgol Pontfadog were on strike for one day whereas Gwersyllt CP will strike for a further day.

Ysgol Pontfadog is under threat of closure as Wrexham Council want to merge the English medium school with the dual-stream Ysgol Cynddelw two miles away, while teachers at Gwersyllt CP face redundancy due to the potential school restructuring.

Earlier this year 1,400 letters from concerned residents from the Ceiriog valley were delivered to the Guildhall by wheelbarrow.

Jools Payne, Glyntraian community councillor, said: "We have to fight what is a fundamentally flawed consultation. Wrexham Council has moved the goalposts by pushing back the consultation closing date to August 7. Maybe they're hoping we're all on holiday, but I can promise we'll be back then with even more people.

"We have to appeal to the Executive Board and make them aware that they will be complicit in the failure of a community by closing Pontfadog. We're optimistic that the Executive Board will see sense."

Tomos Humphreys, 7, is a pupil at Ysgol Pontfadog and said he would be disappointed to see the school close, adding: "It's a small school and that means I can concentrate more and I have made lots of friends there." Tomas' mum Emma added: "As a parent, please Wrexham Council, don't close our school."

The protests have received backing from the NASUWT Teachers Union.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT said of Pontfadog: "NASUWT members at the three schools in the Ceiriog Valley Federation have not taken the decision to strike lightly.

"They feel they have no other option than to take this strike action in a bid to protect their jobs and the continued provision of high-quality education for pupils.

"We remain ready to work with Wrexham Council to find a resolution to this debate."

Teachers from Gwersyllt Community Primary School were also on strike regarding the proposed restructuring of the school and the redundancies that it will bring.

Rex Phillips, NASUWT's national official for Wales said: "The NASUWT is clear that it will, with the support of members, stand up to the ongoing wave of teacher redundancies across Wales, which threaten the education of young people.

"The situation at Gwersyllt is bizarre, as the school site is expanding and teacher recruitment is due to start in September because the school roll is increasing - yet two teachers have been selected for redundancy at the end of this term.

"In such circumstances there can be no justification for making existing staff redundant.

"The NASUWT understands, however, that the school budget may not have recovered from a lack of scrutiny and control by the Wrexham Authority over a number of years."

In response to the school strikes outside the Guildhall, Cllr Phil Wynn, Lead Member for Education, said: “We are disappointed that NASUWT union members at the schools decided to take strike action given the challenges faced by both schools. It is however, their right to strike and we respect their decision.”

“Having liaised with Gwersyllt CP, I wish to clarify the inaccuracies made in a recent NASUWT statement. I can confirm that the school is not recruiting for September 2018. Furthermore, no direct attempt has been made by the NASUWT to engage with the school to find a timely resolution to their dispute.

“As previously stated, the school has had to make difficult decisions for the new academic year regarding staffing and they have followed the agreed Redeployment and Redundancy procedures which have been approved by the Local Authority and Unions. Part of this procedure involved individual consultation meetings with all members of staff.

“Having yesterday emailed Rex Phillips, the NASUWT National Official for Wales, for a discussion on the content of his press statement, I am disappointed that at time of writing on Tuesday afternoon, I am still awaiting his response.”