North East Wales

Denbighshire council plans Rhyl High rebuild and Glan Clwyd revamp

Plans for Glan Clwyd
Image caption A 20% rise in pupils is expected at Glan Clwyd by 2016

More details have emerged about Denbighshire's council's £73.4m plans to overhaul two secondary schools.

The authority wants to rebuild Rhyl High School and revamp Welsh medium Glan Clwyd in St Asaph to accommodate growing numbers of pupils.

The money has been agreed in principle with the Welsh government, but the council must find half the costs.

Officials say consultation will begin locally once start dates are agreed.

The Welsh government called on local education authorities to draw up plans as part of its 21st Century Schools programme and agreed £1.4bn in improvements - £700m from the councils - in December.

But it has yet to reveal when the cash will be released in Denbighshire so the work can start.

Image caption The head teacher says a rebuild at Rhyl high will help pupils go from strength to strength

The money is said to be badly needed at Rhyl High because parts are in a dilapidated condition, according to Jackie Walley, Denbighshire's head of modernising education.

She described the modernisation plans as exciting, and said pupils and teachers deserved better at the school, which has changed around its fortunes in recent years.

'Worked so hard'

Special measures imposed due to concerns about education standards were lifted in 2010 with a new head teacher brought in.

"Our staff and students have worked so hard to improve our school," said head teacher Claire Armitstead.

"They have achieved the best GCSE results we have ever seen and ensured we have developed into a supportive, ambitious and achieving environment.

"The biggest future barrier we faced was our building. Its rebuild will enable us to go from strength to strength and become the outstanding school we want to become."

Council officials are now looking at ways of raising their share of the building costs.

But Mrs Walley said an added complication may follow May's county council election if there is a change in the political make-up of the authority and councillors' priorities change.

At Glan Clwyd a revamp is planned due to a shortfall in accommodation, coupled with an expected 20% rise in pupil numbers by 2016.

The Welsh government said the 21st Century Schools programme would begin in financial year 2014/15, "by which point we will have had the necessary discussions with all of the local authorities involved".

Image caption The plans for Rhyl and Glan Clwyd schools were drawn up as part of the bid for government funding and have yet to be formally agreed

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