South West Wales

Swansea's Daniel James school closure confirmed

Daniel James Community School
Image caption The school was placed in special measures a year ago

A comprehensive school in Swansea can close despite a series of protests by parents and pupils, the education minister has ruled.

Leighton Andrews has endorsed the proposal by the city council to shut Daniel James Community School.

It was placed in special measure last year and the council said resources could be spent more effectively improving other schools.

Campaigners had said new management was "turning it around".

The council drew up plans to close the 600-pupil school under its QEd 2020 programme aimed at cutting surplus places, raising standards and making better use of resources.

In a letter, Mr Andrews said the closure would "improve the standard of education provision overall in the area and ensure the delivery of a broad and balanced curriculum for all affected age groups".

It means pupils normally admitted to Years seven, eight, nine and ten will transfer to Pentrehafod, Morriston or Bishop Gore schools from September this year.

Year 11 pupils are set to stay at the school to complete their exams in 2012.

Parents and pupils had argued some faced journeys of more than three miles to one of the alternative comprehensives.

They also said a new head and deputy head were raising standards.

A series of protests were staged in Swansea and outside the Senedd in Cardiff.

Mike Day, Swansea council's cabinet member for education, said: "A decision to close any school is not taken lightly.

"The pupils will benefit from attending schools where standards are higher and they can have access to a broader curriculum.

"We will be working closely with those schools receiving the pupils to ensure the transition is smooth.

"It is also vital that we continue to work alongside Daniel James School so that the staff and pupils, particularly those staying on to sit exams, have all the support they need."

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