Special Schools ‘To Be Replaced’

Plans to close three special schools in Flintshire and replace them with two new education centres are likely to be given the go ahead. Councillors said only four objections to the proposals were received during a public consultation on the issue. Eleven of the 22 responses received by the public expressed positive support. The Welsh education minister will now be asked to approve the closure of Ysgol Belmont in Buckley, Ysgol Delyn in Mold and Ysgol y Bryn in Shotton.

The assembly government will provide funding for a replacement primary special school, attached to Ysgol Gwynedd in Flint, and a new secondary special school linked to Flint High School.

The new buildings are expected to open in September 2009.

They will cater for children with behavioural problems, autism, as well as those with profound and multiple learning difficulties.

When the plans were revealed last year, some parents expressed concerns that their children would have to travel further to attend school.

But education officials in Flintshire said it was “highly significant” that only two parents had objected to the proposals, which potentially affect 1,500 pupils.

“This would seem to indicate a very high level of acceptance of the proposals among the huge majority of parents of whose children would be part of the changes,” a spokesperson said.