Y Berwyn

Y Berwyn catchment-area Decision Letter – Summer term 2017

On Tuesday, 27 June 2017, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet decided to withdraw the proposal approved on 15 September 2015, namely the proposal to close Ysgol y Berwyn, Ysgol Beuno Sant and Ysgol Bro Tegid and establish a 3-19 Learning Campus, Welsh Medium, Voluntary Controlled (VC, Church in Wales) on the current site of  Ysgol y Berwyn,  in accordance with section  55 (5) of the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013. For a copy of the decision letter, please follow the link below.

Establishing Y Bala 3-19 Learning Campus

Following Cabinet approval, the process of establishing a Learning Campus in Y Bala is now underway.

See the newsletter below for the latest information on the development of the Learning Campus, which will open in September 2018.

Newsletters:

A Newsletter will be published every Term in order to share information about the work of establishing the new Learning Campus.

Final Decision

On the 15th of September 2015 Cabinet Members have decided to give final approval to the proposal. The decision will be implemented from the 30th of September 2015 and a decision letter will be published and circulated.

Following careful consideration the Council’s Cabinet Members on 19 May 2015 have decided to:

  1. To implement the proposal to close Ysgol Bro Tegid, Ysgol Beuno Sant and Ysgol y Berwyn in Bala on 31 August 2018 and establish a 3-19 Learning Campus, Welsh-medium, Voluntary Controlled, (VC, Church in Wales), (“The Campus”), on the existing Ysgol y Berwyn site to open on 1 September 2018.
  2. That Gwynedd Council will conduct a review of the school’s performance which will include a review of the quality of education provided, educational progress, the pupils’ social and cultural experiences, the use of resources, and any effect of the Voluntary Controlled, (VC, Church in Wales), category on the above following two years from the opening date of the Campus. This will include consulting with parents, prospective parents and residents of the area in order to reach an opinion on the suitability of the education and the church status.

 

Objection Period

Following an Objection Period held from 17 June – 15 July 2015 the objections received were presented in a report to Cabinet 15 September 2015 for a final decision.

On the 2nd of June 2015 Cabinet Members decided to continue with the proposal and approve publishing a Statutory Notice (17 June 2015). A period of 28 days was given to oppose the proposal 17 June – 15 July 2015.

Following undertaking a period of Statutory Consultation from 13 March to 28 April 2015, comments received were presented to Cabinet 2 June 2015 (item 6). Cabinet Members gave careful consideration to the comments before deciding whether to continue with the proposal or not.

Statutory Consultation Period

The Gwynedd Council Cabinet in its meeting on 19 February 2015 (item 10) decided to proceed with a Statutory Consultation Period on the future of schools in the Berwyn Catchment Area, in accordance with the requirements of Section 48 of the Schools Standards and Organisation Act 2013.

A Statutory Consultation period was held between 13 March 2015 and 13:00 on 28 April 2015 on the proposal to re-organise schools in the Berwyn catchment area.

This consultation was based on the proposal to close Ysgol Y Berwyn, Ysgol Beuno Sant and Ysgol Bro Tegid and establish a Learning Campus (Welsh medium, Voluntary Controlled (VC) Church in Wales) 3-19 years.  

The Learning Campus would be one school, with one governing body, one Head and one staffing structure which would encompass the primary and secondary sectors on one site. The Campus will be located on the present Ysgol Y Berwyn site and the site will be significantly adapted in order to create the Learning Campus.

The Authority also has a vision to create a Federation between Ysgol OM Edwards, Bro Tryweryn and Ffridd y Llyn and to establish a Joint Committee between the Federation and the Learning Campus in order to ensure that the three rural schools benefit from the investment in the town. This element will be consulted upon in a separate process.

An open day was held in Ysgol Y Berwyn on Thursday 26th of March 2015 between 2pm and 8pm and there was an open opportunity for anyone to receive information and/or present comments on the proposal.

A facilitator visited the relevant schools to discuss the proposal and provide an opportunity for children to present comments. Any pupil is welcome to present comments and/or complete a questionnaire to present their opinion on the proposal.

A Consultation Document was also prepared for Children & Young People (for Primary and Secondary ages) along with a Questionnaire and copies can be seen below.

Statutory Consultation Period Documents

A copy of the statutory consultation document along with a number of background documents were available in each school within the catchment area and in local libraries.

Anyone could present comments during the statutory consultation period.

NOTE  - any comments on the proposal had to be received by the School Organisation Office by 13:00 Tuesday 28 April 2015.

Send comments by e-mail to: trefniadaeth.ysgolion@gwynedd.llyw.cymru

Or by post to: School Organisation Office, Gwynedd Council Headquarters, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL55 1SH

For further copies of the statutory consultation document please contact the School Organisation Office by phoning (01286) 679247 or by e-mailing trefniadaeth.ysgolion@gwynedd.llyw.cymru 


News

Following some delay further discussions were held in the catchment during 2014 to identify the best way forward and to confirm the prospective proposal.

A report was presented to 19 February 2015 (item 10) in order to seek approval to undertake a statutory consultation period on the prospective proposal. Follow the link above to view the Cabinet report. More background information is available in the Background Pack.

See also February 2015 Newsletter.

Elements of the proposal developed for the catchment have been implemented (Prior Reorganisation Process - archive). See below for more information.

Ysgol OM Edwards has received a £1million investment to ensure that the area’s children receive their education in an environment suitable for the 21st Century.

 

Prior Reorganisation Process (archive)

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.


Statutory Consultation

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.


Decision

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.”


Implementation

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.