Update from the Trustees of St. Brigid’s School Regarding Proposed New Faith School in North Denbighshire

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St Brigid’s School, Denbigh

 

NEWSLETTER To all Governors, Staff and parents 15th November 2012

PROPOSAL FOR A NEW FAITH SCHOOL IN NORTH DENBIGHSHIRE

 

Following long discussions with both Catholic and Anglican Dioceses together with Denbighshire County Council for some time, the County Council is about to brief it’s Cabinet on proposals to build a new Faith-based Secondary School in North Denbighshire as part of the Welsh Government’s Modernising Education Agenda.

The Proposal will in effect, seek to ‘Federate’ or Amalgamate the 11-16 elements of St Brigid’s School with the existing Blessed Edward Jones 11-16 School at Rhyl, and to build a new school somewhere between Rhyl and Denbigh, within the next few years. In the meanwhile, as far as we know, both schools will operate on their existing sites.

We have always opposed this suggestion, favouring the new building to be for a 3- 19 school on our Denbigh site, as proposed by St Brigid’s in July last. However the former Bishop of Wrexham has always wished it to be nearer to Rhyl. The Director of Education has indicated a possibility of the case being made for attaching the Primary school to the project. However, both the Dioceses desperately want to keep our Faith Sixth Form as part of the Vale of Clwyd Partnership,

The time has come it is felt, for us to ‘come off the fence’ and support the LA in their

Proposal for the new school. There is no doubt that Denbighshire could go along with both Dioceses and carry on without us. Given that the Voluntary-Aided Grant Scheme has changed completely, we would be left begging for Capital Grant from Denbighshire for any improvements, which we desperately need. We have already lost the useful ‘Under £10k ‘ Scheme and seem only to be able to call on the RC Diocese for a share of the Diocesan ‘Pot’ for minor maintenance. All future capital expenditure must come through the Local Authority. At present the LA can only obtain 50% Capital Grant for its own schools, but a debate rages over the 85% Grant under the VA System. It may well be the last chance to benefit from this grant regime, especially as Denbighshire has received approval for the project’s inclusion.

The Report going to the Cabinet next week sets out the overall situation without going into any detail of what is really proposed. At present, Trustees have only been in a position to confirm our support for the consultation process at this stage especially in the light of the aspirations of our Staff and Pupils, and in order that we can expect to be represented in the team to influence and drive the project forward and ensure our concerns are considered.

We are advised that the proposals will be put to the Denbighshire Cabinet shortly, and if approved, will be put out to Consultation with effect from December 6th 2012. A series of meetings will be held with Staff, Parents and members of the Student Council and Consultation will end on 29th January. It is hoped to arrange the Staff Meeting before Christmas, and the Parents Meeting early in the New Year.

The Report will be available on Denbighshire’s Web Site www.denbighshire.gov.uk click on Council and Democracy, then Meetings, then Cabinet (centre of page).