South West Wales

Haverfordwest school merger plans approved

Tasker Milward School Image copyright Google
Image caption Both Tasker Milward School (pictured) and Sir Thomas Picton School are in special measures

Plans to merge two Pembrokeshire secondary schools have moved one step closer.

Councillors backed a plan to consult on closing Tasker Milward and Sir Thomas Picton schools in Haverfordwest and creating a new 11-19 school.

The current school sites would be used initially before the new school opened in September 2018.

This will be the fifth consultation over the future of secondary education in the town.

Plans to close the two schools to create an 11-16 school, with sixth form provision moving to Pembrokeshire College, were scrapped in May.

It followed protests from students who wanted to retain their school sixth forms.

In July the council chose to restart its review into secondary education.

Image caption Several protests were held outside County Hall in Haverfordwest over education shake-ups

The latest report from the council's director for children and schools, Kate Evan-Hughes, said there was an agreement the current post-16 model in Pembrokeshire "is not viable" and the case for change "remains compelling".

"An appetite for retaining 11-19 secondary provision in Haverfordwest cannot be ignored," she said.

A merger of Sir Thomas Picton and Tasker Milward would result in a 1,900-pupil school, assuming all the current feeder schools remain the same.

Ms Evan-Hughes said the merger should "take place at the earliest opportunity" but it would be established on the two school sites to begin with.

A statutory consultation begins later this month ahead of a public consultation in January or February 2017.

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