Wales

Village schools shake-up go ahead for Edeyrnion area

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Denbighshire councillors have backed controversial plans to close three village primary schools to reduce surplus places.

As part of the shake-up, Ysgol Maes Hyfryd in Cynwyd and Ysgol Llandrillo will shut with a new Welsh-medium school to replace them.

And Ysgol Glyndyfrdwy will also close with pupils moving to Ysgol y Gwernant in Llangollen.

The meeting at County Hall, Ruthin, was described as "tough and lengthy".

But, in the end, councillors unanimously gave their backing to the plans, sealing the fate of the schools.

Dozens of opponents have contacted the council concerned about the impact on their children's education and their communities.

'Modernising'

"We recognise there are concerns in these communities about the proposals," said councillor Eryl Williams, cabinet lead member for education.

"With any reorganisations there are always difficult decisions to make, but doing nothing is simply not an option as there are real issues around surplus places, headteachers recruitment and the use of mobile accommodation.

"Modernising education is a priority for the council," he said.

Statutory notices will now be advertised before the council pushes on with its plans.

If objections are received the matter will decided by the Welsh Government.

The report to councillors said Ysgol Maes Hyfryd and Ysgol Llandrillo would initially be replaced by an area school on the existing school sites from next September.

A single site in Cynwyd would be established by September 2014 after extension and refurbishment work.

The proposals are part of recommendations discussed by councillors in May for school reorganisation in the Edeyrnion area.

They include plans for introducing a shared head teacher and governing bodies for two pairs of schools Ysgol Betws Gwerful Goch and Ysgol Bro Elwern, Gwyddelwern; and Ysgol Caer Drewyn and Ysgol Carrog.

The council says it recognises the importance of having school buildings and resources that "meet the needs of 21st Century Wales".

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