North East Wales

Denbighshire council scraps two-site faith school merger

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Media captionSt Brigid's in Denbigh and Blessed Edward Jones in Rhyl were due to become one school spread over two sites

Denbighshire councillors have voted to scrap plans to merge two faith schools on two sites.

Hundreds of people opposed plans to close St Brigid's School, Denbigh and Blessed Edwards Jones School in Rhyl, with a new multi-faith school operating across the two sites.

Instead, councillors voted to work with the Catholic and Anglican diocese to develop a single new faith school in an undecided location.

A consultation is to be launched.

The new proposal will mean the closure of both existing faith schools in 2018.

'Truly consider'

More than 1,300 people responded to the original merger proposals, but few were in favour.

Some parents have already said they intend to fight the new plans as well.

Lisa Carrier, parent and member of St Brigid's Action Group, said: "The parents and pupils of both St Brigid's and Blessed Edward Jones schools overwhelmingly rejected this merger and we are pleased that Denbighshire County Council has listened to our voices.

"We now ask the council to look at the consultation responses in detail and truly consider the evidence, plans and practical examples submitted, which offer viable alternatives to an expensive merger that few appear to want."

A crowd of about 100 protesters gathered outside the meeting - some opposing changes to the faith school structure, with others opposing the proposed closure of Ysgol Llanbedr Primary School, near Ruthin.

Councillors also voted to go ahead with a consultation on plans to close Ysgol Llanbedr.

The closure of the school, which has 21 pupils, is proposed as part of a review of primary school education in the Ruthin area.

If finalised, the school would be closed in August 2014, with pupils transferring to Ysgol Borthyn, Ruthin.

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