The Berwyn Catchment area review commenced during Autumn 2009.
The Berwyn Catchment Review Panel was established to assist the Education Portfolio Leader to draft proposals for school reorganisation in the catchment. The Catchment Review Panel included representatives from the schools in the district, including the head teacher, chair of governors and parent governors of all primary and secondary schools, local area Councillors as well as a representative from the Diocese of St Asaph. An invitation was extended to others at the request of the Catchment Review Panel.
A series of Catchment Review Panel meetings were held between 04/11/09 and 12/05/10. Papers and minutes from these meetings can be found in the attachments below. Meetings were also held with individual schools in order to explain the latest news to all school staff and to provide opportunity for their comments and questions.
At the end of the discussion period the Education Portfolio Leader presented her proposals for the area to the Council's democratic cycle. Her proposals were approved and a statutory consultation period was arranged.
A statutory consultation period was held in the Berwyn catchment between 13 December 2010 and February 2011and a statutory consultation document was developed in accordance with the Schools Standards and Framework Act 1998.
A number of comments were received and a report was presented to Full Council 12/05/11 and it was decided:
(i) In order to facilitate the establishment of the proposed Lifelong Learning Campus, to approve the proposal to close Ysgol y Berwyn, Ysgol Beuno Sant and Ysgol Bro Tegid on 31 August 2015 and to issue statutory notices to that effect in accordance with Section 29 of the Schools Standards and Framework Act 1998.
(ii) To approve the proposal to establish a Community School on the sites of Ysgol y Berwyn and Ysgol Beuno Sant to admit pupils within the 3-19 age range as part of the establishment of a new Lifelong Learning Campus in the town of Bala, to open on 1 September 2015, and to issue statutory notices to that effect in accordance with Section 28 of the Schools Standards and Framework Act 1998.
(iii) To approve the proposal to close Ysgol y Parc by 31 August 2012, and to provide places to children in the catchment area at Ysgol O M Edwards, Llanuwchllyn, after completing upgrading works at Ysgol O M Edwards and issuing statutory notices in accordance with Section 28 of the Schools Standards and Framework Act 1998 to that end.
(iv) To issue the Statutory Notices referred to in (i), (ii) and (iii) above when the capital funding package has been confirmed.
During this period the way in which the Welsh Government fund large scale building projects changed.
In the Full Council meeting held on 01/03/2012 a decision to release a Statutory Notice on proposal (iii) was approved, namely to close Ysgol Y Parc, Bala.
The Statutory Notice to close Ysgol Y Parc was released on 05/03/2012 and a period of 1 month is given to receive any objections. A copy of the Statutory Notice can be found attached on the bottom of this page.
Following receipt of a number of objections to the Statutory Notice the Council were required to refer the mater in its entirety to the Welsh Government Minister for Education and Skills for a final decision. The Welsh Government state that they aim to announce a final decision on school reorganisation proposals within 7 months.
The Welsh Government confirmed its decision on the proposal to close Ysgol Y Parc in September 2012. Leighton Andrews, the Welsh Minister for Education and Skills decided as follows:
“The Minister has decided to approve the proposal to close Ysgol y Parc and, subject to parental preference, transfer pupils to Ysgol O M Edwards on the grounds that it will:
- at least maintain and very likely improve the standard of education provision overall in the area and should ensure delivery of a broad and balanced curriculum for all affected age groups;
- allow pupils who attend or would otherwise have attended Ysgol y Parc access to education at a suitable alternative school which is within a reasonable distance; and
- assist the local authority in providing a financially sustainable pattern of well maintained schools.”
Following the Welsh Government’s approval to the proposal to close Ysgol Y Parc, the upgrading works at Ysgol OM Edwards have been implemented.
Following a significant investment of £1 million Ysgol OM Edwards welcomed pupils from the newly formed catchment, from the Llanuwchllyn and Parc areas in September 2013 under the leadership of Dilys Ellis-Jones, Headteacher. Significant work and effort has been made to ensure that the area's children have a school of excellent standard which provides an educational environment appropriate for the 21st Century. Children who live in Y Parc area are automatically within the new OM Edwards School Catchment area.
Ysgol Y Parc officially closed on 31 August 2013.