Council admits school closure proposal blunder

Campaigners have called for the closure of an English speaking school to be halted after council chiefs admitted “an error” during a public consultation.

Last Tuesday Wrexham council’s executive board voted to issue a statutory notice to close Ysgol Pontfadog.

The school caters for 18 pupils and is one of three schools in the Ceiriog Valley Federation.

Local education chiefs claimed a consultation response from Glyntraian Community Council (GCC) who are opposed to the site shutting , was received too late for consideration.

However, Wrexham council has now issued a statement admitting an error had been made and apologised.

A Wrexham council spokesman said: “Unfortunately it was mistakenly stated at the executive board meeting that the response was late – this was an error on the part of the officer at the meeting for which the council unreservedly apologises.”

A GCC spokesman said: “We look to Wrexham council to rescind the executive board’s decision to publish the statutory notice for closure with immediate effect.”

The Wrexham council spokesman insisted a final decision whether over whether or not to axe the school, will only be made following a 28-day consultation when the statutory notice is published.

At last week’s meeting Ceiriog county councillor Trevor Bates also raised claims the consultation was “misleading and biased”, which was denied by council officers.

GCC wants the claims looked at again.

The two other schools in the federation, which has one governing body, are dual language Ysgol Cynddelw in Glyn Ceiriog, with 98 pupils, and Welsh medium Llanarmon DC in Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, with 24 pupils.

Three options were on the table – to keep all three schools open, divert English speakers at Ysgol Cynddelw to Pontfadog, or close Pontfadog and send English speakers to Cynddelw.

The majority of the 253 who responded to the consultation said they wanted to retain the status-quo, with the federation’s governors preferring the second option.

Just over 6% said they wanted Pontfadog to close.

Cllr Bates said: “I think they had made their mind up before the consultation.”

Jules Payne, campaigner, added: “There is a big question over the veracity and integrity of the consultation.

“It also shows the pointlessness of going out to consultation and then ignoring what people want.”

 

Article originally appeared on Daily Post

The Institute cannot confirm the accuracy of this story or confirm that it presents a balanced view. If you feel this is inaccurate we would welcome your perspective and evidence that this is the case.

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