Flintshire high school merger plans dropped for rethink

Argoed High Argoed High, Mynydd Isa, is no longer included in planned changes to Flintshire's secondary schools

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Proposals to merge some Flintshire high schools to cut surplus places have been dropped.

The plans for schools in Deeside, Buckley and Mynydd Isa proved unpopular among parents when they were first put forward, leading to a rethink.

Now councillors will decide on new options to cut numbers of vacant places to reduce building sizes and costs.

The result of Tuesday's meeting will prompt another round of consultation before final decisions are made.

The plans were first discussed last summer with Flintshire council saying there were three high schools - Holywell, Elfed in Buckley and John Summers in Queensferry - where surplus places were now over 25%.

Initially, options included merging Argoed High, Mynydd, with Elfed High and consolidating Deeside's John Summers High with Connah's Quay High.

Now, one of the latest options in the report to the cabinet committee is to reduce the size of Elfed High by putting all pupils and staff into one part of the building, and moving sixth-form education to nearby Mold Alun, which has grown to have one of Wales' biggest sixth forms.

Purpose-built

"This would then free up space [at Elfed] which could be used for other things not connected to the school like office space," says the report, which makes no mention of any changes affecting neighbouring Argoed High.

School protesters last summer Parents, pupils and teachers protested against proposals to close schools last summer

Part of the Elfed school already includes the town's public swimming baths and leisure centre.

Another option is to retain Deeside's school sites at John Summers High and nearby Connah's Quay High but merge them into one with a single head teacher and governing body.

However, both sixth forms would close and post-16 education would be provided at a new purpose-built facility in Connah's Quay.

Three options are on the table for Holywell including building a new school for pupils aged 11-18, together with a new primary school to replace Ysgol Perth y Terfyn and Ysgol y Fron.

Flintshire council started a major consultation exercise in February into the Area Schools Review 2012 which includes providing updates via Facebook.

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