Rhyn Park school plans 'offer stability'

Plans for an all-through school at Rhyn Park, in the village of St Martins, near Oswestry, will help to safeguard primary schools in neighbouring villages, it has been claimed.

Plans for an all-through school at Rhyn Park, in the village of St Martins, near Oswestry, will help to safeguard primary schools in neighbouring villages, it has been claimed.

Shropshire Council speaker David Lloyd told last night's meeting of Selattyn and Gobowen Parish Council that giving a new look to Rhyn Park School would ensure a "vital and stable secondary hub for three main villages".

Among Shropshire Council's education reorganisation plans is a proposal to relocate Ifton Heath Primary School, in St Martins, to the village's Rhyn Park Secondary School campus, creating an all-through schools for children aged three to 16.

As well as safeguarding the secondary school, the proposals would also "stabilise" the future of feeder primary schools in Gobowen, Selattyn and Weston Rhyn, Councillor Lloyd told the meeting.

He said: "Rhyn Park has been vulnerable on pupil numbers alone for some time and this proposed revamp could well be the way forward.

"Shropshire Council set a threshold of 600-plus pupils for secondary schools and Rhyn Park has been hovering around the 400 mark so there is a cause for concern because clearly it has been vulnerable.

"I think the proposal could be the sensible way forward because it is a good site and there is room there. It will put the numbers up and help create a new way of delivering education for the area."

Councillor Lloyd added: "We have to remember the school provides education for three main villages so it is important that the best option is found.

Achieve

"I hope the consultation that will follow, and the concept of collaborative working envisaged, will stabilise the situation of the other primary schools in Gobowen, Selattyn and Weston Rhyn and achieve the overall educational gain that parents want for their children."

He told the meeting: "The last thing I wanted was to see youngsters being bussed here, there and everywhere during the school day. That would have been costly and a distraction from their studies.

A report to Shropshire Council's cabinet said that the Rhyn Park plan would provide a "vibrant near learning environment" for pupils at Ifton Heath and also safeguard community facilities.