Whilst reaching a decision on the future of schools in the Gader catchment area in its meeting on 23 June 2015 (see Final Decision below), and following further consideration of the situation at Ysgol Machreth, the Cabinet decided the following on the school’s future:
- Withdraw the statutory notice regarding Ysgol Machreth
- Approve the commencement of an alternative process based on the proposal to close the school early in 2016
- Offer places to Ysgol Machreth pupils at Ysgol Ieuan Gwynedd, Rhydymain during the transition period prior to the establishment of the All-through Catchment Area School on 1 September 2017
The School Organisation Code 006/2013 notes ‘where a school has fewer than 10 registered pupils (or there are no pupils remaining at a school) at the January census point, the 2013 Act permits governing bodies/local authorities to undertake a streamlined procedure to bring about official closure.’ This means that the requirement for general consultation before publishing a notice of closure can be waived.
Whilst considering this, and the fact there were no pupils on the Ysgol Machreth, Llanfachreth register on the 3rd Tuesday of January 2016, the Cabinet Member for Education published a decision notice on 2 June 2016 recommending the issuing of a Statutory Notice on the intention to close Ysgol Machreth on 31 August 2016.
Following this, the Statutory Notice was published on 14 June 2016 whilst allowing a period of 28 days for anyone to object to the proposal.
Following the publishing of the Statutory Notice, no objections were received during the objection period. As a result Gwynedd Council has decided, through a decision notice published by the Cabinet Member for Education on 8 August 2016, to close Ysgol Machreth on 31 August 2016.
Establishing an All Through Catchment Area School in the Gader catchment area
Following Cabinet approval the process of establishing an All Through School in the Gader catchment area is underway.
Mrs Jane Owen has been appointed as the Strategic Headteacher for the All Through Catchment Area School. The Headteacher has been in post since April 2016. The Head, with the support of the governors, are currently developing the new staffing structure.
See Newsletters below for more information.
Shadow Governing Body Members
A Newsletter will be published every Term in order to share information about the work of establishing the new All Through School.
Following further consideration of Ysgol Machreth’s situation Cabinet Members on 23 June 2015 (item 7) have approved:
- Withdrawing the statutory notice regarding Ysgol Machreth
- Commencement of an alternative process based on the proposal to close the school early in 2016
- Offering places to Ysgol Machreth pupils at Ysgol Ieuan Gwynedd, Rhydymain during the transition period prior to the establishment of the All-through Catchment Area School on 1 September 2017
On the 19th of May 2015 Cabinet Members have decided to give final approval to the proposal. The decision will be implemented from the 4th of June and a decision letter will be published and circulated.
Following careful consideration the Council’s Cabinet Members on 19 May 2015 have decided to:
- Implement the proposal to close Ysgol Y Gader, Ysgol Gynradd Dolgellau, Ysgol Brithdir, Ysgol Ieuan Gwynedd (Rhydymain), Ysgol Dinas Mawddwy, Ysgol Llanelltyd, Ysgol Friog, Ysgol Clogau (Bontddu) and Ysgol Ganllwyd on 31 August 2017 and establish a Welsh medium community Catchment Area All-through School for 3-16 year olds on the existing sites of Ysgol y Gader, Ysgol Gynradd Dolgellau, Ysgol Ieuan Gwynedd (Rhydymain), Ysgol Dinas Mawddwy, Ysgol Llanelltyd and Ysgol Friog on 1 September 2017.
- As a result of the importance of appointing a head teacher and the need for him/her to be appointed in advance, approve the establishment of a shadow governing body during the Summer Term of 2015 and then finance the head teacher of the All-through Catchment School from the scheme savings as soon as possible.
- Delay confirming the implementation of the statutory notice on Ysgol Machreth (Llanfachreth) to gain more clarity following recent developments at the school.
A further report will be presented to the Council’s Cabinet soon in order to address the situation in Ysgol Machreth.
Objections received following release of the Statutory Notices were presented in a report to the Council’s Cabinet on 19 May 2015 (item 6) for their consideration.
Statutory Notices Period
The Council’s Cabinet in its meeting on 13 January 2015 decided to continue with the proposal and approved publishing Statutory Notices.
Statutory Notices were published on 25 February 2015 and a period of 28 days was given to oppose the proposal (25 February – 25 March 2015).
At the end of the Statutory Notices period, any objections received would be presented in a report to the Council’s Cabinet for a final decision.
Y Gader Statutory Consultation Period
At its meeting on 16 September 2014, the Cabinet of Gwynedd Council resolved to undertake a process of statutory consultation on the future of schools in Y Gader catchment area, in accordance with the requirements of Section 48 of the Schools Standards and Organisation Act 2013.
Between 10 October 2014 and 13:00 on 24 November 2014 the Council held a period of statutory consultation on a proposal for the reorganisation of schools in the Gader catchment area. The schools involved are: Ysgol Y Gader, Ysgol Gynradd Dolgellau, Ysgol Llanelltyd, Ysgol Clogau, Ysgol Ganllwyd, Ysgol Machreth, Ysgol Ieuan Gwynedd, Ysgol Dinas Mawddwy, Ysgol Friog and Ysgol Brithdir.
This consultation was based on a proposal to close the 10 present schools and to establish a community, Welsh medium all-through catchment area school for all pupils aged 3-16 in the Gader catchment area. It would be one school, with one governing body, one headteacher and one staffing structure but located on six separate sites, the current sites of Y Gader, Dolgellau Primary, Llanelltyd, Friog, Ieuan Gwynedd (Rhydymain) and Dinas Mawddwy Schools.
Two open days were held at the Glan Wnion Leisure Centre, Dolgellau on Wednesday 5th November and Thursday 6th November between 11:00am and 7:00pm, there was an open opportunity for anyone to receive information and/or present comments.
In addition, sessions were held in every school within the catchment in order to receive the views of children and young people. Every pupil was welcome to present comments and/or complete a questionnaire on this proposal. A Children & Young People’s Consultation Document was also provided (for Primary and Secondary ages) along with a Questionnaire, copies of which can be found below.
A copy of the statutory consultation document and other background papers were available in schools within the catchment and in local libraries.
Anyone could present views during the consultation period.
For further copies of the statutory consultation document contact the School Organisation Office by telephone on (01286) 679247 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments received were presented to the Council’s Cabinet 13 January 2015 for consideration.
Statutory Consultation Period documents
The Process so far
It was originally intended to reorganise schools in the catchment by area, focusing on the east of the catchment first. Proposals were developed, a period of statutory consultation was held and statutory notices released. Approval was received by the Minister for Education and Skills, but in the meantime it became apparent that it would not be possible to implement the proposals.
An update on the situation in the East of Y Gader, Dolgellau Town and on the vision for the catchment was reported to the Cabinet in July 2013.
In the Cabinet December 2013 the following proposals were approved:
- To confirm extending the work in order to create a range of models which will serve the catchment area in its entirety, with the aim of putting before the Cabinet specific recommendations for statutory consultation in accordance with Section 48 of the Schools Standards and Organisation Act 2013.
- To give authority to undertake an assessment in order to identify and measure the need within the catchment area for education provision of a specific category and designation as part of, and to meet the requirements of, the process of identifying recommendations in accordance with the above.
- Since the Church Voluntary Schools come within the remit of the process, delegate to the Education Cabinet Member the task of conducting a pre-consultation with the Church if necessary, in accordance with the Schools Organisation Code 2013 requirements, before submitting a further report to the Cabinet on the favoured option, requesting permission to undertake a statutory consultation period on this option.
Various assessments have been completed; language impact assessment, community impact assessment, equality assessment and an assessment of need for different types of schools.
In addition, because Ysgol Machreth (in Llanfachreth) and Ysgol Gynradd Dolgellau are Voluntary Controlled schools (Church in Wales), the Authority was required to undertake a pre-consultation period with the Church in Wales in accordance with the School Organisation Code (006/2013).
Following the pre-consultation with the Church in Wales, a report was presented to the Cabinet in September 2014. The Cabinet decided to approve undertaking a period of statutory consultation on the favoured option.
See the documents below for further information:
Archive – Y Gader East Proposal
The Process to reorganise schools in the catchment started in Y Gader in 2010. A number of meetings were held in the catchment, including Area Review Panel (ARP). Following completion of significant preparatory works, proposals were developed to reflect what was possible. Further ARP meetings were held in May and June 2011 to discuss the implications of the revised proposals.
In Full Council 14 July 2011 the proposal to establish a multi site area school in the east of the catchment was approved (Subject to the decision on the proposed location of the school) and establish a Lifelong Learning Community in the town of Dolgellau.
Statutory Process – Y Gader East
In accordance with the decision of Full Council 140705, a period of statutory consultation was held in the east of the catchment between 21 October – 25 November 2011.
A statutory consultation document was developed on the proposal to close Ysgol Brithdir, Dinas Mawddwy, Ieuan Gwynedd and Machreth on 31 August 2013, and establish a multi site community area school for 3-11 year olds to open 1st September 2013 on the current sites of Brithdir and Dinas Mawddwy.
A report was presented to Full Council 15 December 2011 and the following proposals were approved:
- Approve the proposal to close Brithdir, Dinas Mawddwy, Ieuan Gwynedd and Machreth schools on 31st August 2013, and issue statutory notices in accordance with the requirements of Section 29 of the School Standards and Framework Act of 1998 to implement this.
- Approve the proposal to establish a Multi-site Area Community School for 3 - 11 year olds to open on 1st September 2013 on the existing sites of Brithdir and Dinas Mawddwy schools, to provide education for the existing catchment areas of Brithdir, Dinas Mawddwy, Ieuan Gwynedd and Machreth schools, and issue statutory notices in accordance with the requirements of Section 28 of the School Standards and Framework Act of 1998 to implement this.
On the 5th of March 2012 a statutory notice was released to close Brithdir, Dinas Mawddwy, Ieuan Gwynedd and Machreth schools and establish a Multi-site Area Community School for 3 - 11 year olds to open on 1st September 2013 on the existing sites of Brithdir and Dinas Mawddwy schools. A period of 1 month was given to receive any objections. Objections were received therefore the mater was referred to the Minister for Education and Skills for a final decision – the proposal was approved.
In the meantime further background work was undertaken to develop the plans, giving particular attention to the site’s geology and planning issues. Unfortunately significant problems and restrictions were identified which meant a significant increase in the costs of developing the site and it was decided to discontinue the proposal to establish a multi site area school in Brithdir and Dinas Mawddwy.
The schools in the east of Y Gader catchment are now being considered as part of proposals being developed for the whole catchment.
The documents below provide more information on the reorganisation process in the east of the catchment.