North East Wales

School closures: Flintshire parents fight new merger plans

School protesters last summer
Image caption Flashback: Parents, pupils and teachers protested against proposals to close schools last summer

Opposition is growing to Flintshire council's revised education shake-up options which include school closures.

The authority said change is needed to reduce surplus places and ensure the most money is spent on children's education rather than building costs.

Controversial ideas put forward last year were recalled for a rethink after a number of public protests.

New options have now been tabled with opponents in Deeside and Buckley saying they will fight closures and mergers.

Plans for Deesideinclude amalgamating John Summer's and Connah's Quay high schools on one site.

Parents have posted messages of opposition on Facebook after attending a public meeting with education officials earlier this week.

Some say both communities need their own high schools due to population sizes alone.

Local Labour councillors set up the Facebook group,Hands off Connah's Quay High School, to oppose the option and allow parents to have their say.

Petition

In Buckley, one of four options being considered include relocating Westwood Primary School at Elfed High School, providing education for children aged three to 16 on the single site.

Since a meeting with education officials last week, parents formed Westwood Parents Action Group (WPAG) to oppose the option.

Organisers say they have collected a 700-name petition with some saying it would be daunting for small children to share a site with teenagers.

Flintshire council started a major consultation exercise in February into theArea Schools Review 2012which includes providingupdates via Facebook.

It says itsreview of schoolsin Holywell, Deeside, Buckley, Mynydd Isa and Mold is the next stage in its school modernisation strategy to "address significant numbers of surplus places".

The authority has said that all ideas put forward are options for consideration and no decisions will be taken by councillors before more consultation is carried out.

The consultation period ends next month.

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