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Council defends decision to close 18-pupil Pontfadog school

By Jonny Drury | Mid Wales | Education | Published:

A councillor believes all views were taken into account before a controversial decision to close a primary school.

A final decision was made by Wrexham Council's executive board on Tuesday to close the 18 pupil Pontfadog School, as part of a restructuring of schools in the Ceiriog Valley.

A host of campaigners attended the meeting, and said that the views of 1,300 objectors had not been taken into consideration.

The consultation had been called into question before, when the council admitted not all the responses had been looked at.

However Councillor Phil Wynn, lead member for education at Wrexham Council, said he believes the process was correct and all views were considered.

He said: "I am also confident, after a lengthy public engagement process, that all views were taken into account and my hope is all interested parties will now come together to work on delivering a positive educational outcome for all of the children living in the Ceriog Valley – and to hopefully find a new use for the Ysgol Pontfadog site, which will add to the vibrancy of the village thereby addressing the genuine concerns of many of the responders to the statutory notice.”

Councillor Wynn also said that no politician goes into local government to close down schools, but he has to think of the best for the 12,000 plus pupils in Wrexham's primary schools.

He added: "I took no pleasure in recommending the decision to close Ysgol Pontfadog to my colleagues on the executive board yesterday.

"No-one goes in to local government with the aim of closing down schools, and I appreciate the strong feelings of those in the community who have opposed the closure throughout this process.

“However, as I noted at the meeting, my position means I have a duty of care to all 12,000 plus pupils across all of Wrexham’s primary schools and not just those at Ysgol Pontfadog, and I also have to take into consideration the continued viability of the delivery of all schooling and education services in Wrexham.

“That is why I had to recommend the decision I did at executive board, and put forward the report I did. The decision made will ensure that the delivery of education in the Ceiriog Valley is sustainable into the future."

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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