Posted: Thu 19th Mar 2020

Council says it’s listened to community as plans for schools to work together move forward

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

A local authority which scrapped a controversial school merger says it has listened to the community after proceeding with alternative plans.

There was a two-year battle over proposals to close Lixwm Primary School, which would have resulted in pupils moving to the nearby Brynford Primary School.

But the changes were abandoned by Flintshire Council’s ruling Labour administration following a public backlash.

The Lixwm-based school is now set to form a federation with Ysgol yr Esgob in Caerwys, which is run by the Church in Wales, instead.

It comes after cabinet members approved plans to change its status to voluntary aided because of rules preventing faith schools joining with community schools.

Council leader Ian Roberts described the move as positive for both institutions.

Addressing his colleagues at a meeting at County Hall in Mold, he said: “You will recall that when we made the decision not to amalgamate Lixwm and Brynford schools, we instructed the schools to find sustainable models of education going forward.

“Lixwm Primary School has found a willing partner to federate with in Ysgol yr Esgob in Caerwys, but as this a voluntary aided school Lixwm has to change its designation from community school to voluntary aided.

“There have been no objections to this change of status, and it is fully supported by the Church in Wales Diocese and the education department here.

“The recommendation here today is to proceed with the proposal to re-designate Lixwm as a voluntary aided school to pave the way for a future federation.

“This is a real success and we have listened to the community and the community have listened to what we asked for so that the school is secure.”

A federation is a legal process which enables schools to work together by sharing a governing body to make decisions in the best interest of all the schools, staff and pupils within it.

The proposals were unanimously approved by the cabinet at a meeting on Tuesday .

The changes will come into effect from 1 September 2020 and allow Lixwm Primary School to receive funding towards repairs and maintenance from the diocesan authority.

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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