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Mehefin 2005 June

Letters

Contributions to “Y Bont” may be made
by telephoning the editors on 01490 - 430625, 430558 or 430397
or by e-mail to editor@ybont.deevalley.com

All letters must be accompanied by the full name and address of the writer.O
Opinions expressed in letters submitted for publication in Y Bont are purely those of the authors but the editors reserve the right to edit or not to publish letters submitted.

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Dear Editor,

Through the pages of Y Bont I would like to congratulate Ysgol Carrog on their excellent presentation to Denbighshire CC at the recent open meeting. The whole occasion was so professional and dignified and yet genuinely sincere throughout. DCC cannot have failed to be impressed with all the information given to them and we must remain hopeful for a successful outcome.

Christine Fisher

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Public Meeting - Ysgol Carrog

The positive case for keeping Ysgol Carrog

On 24th May, Rhiannon Hughes and almost a dozen other councillors and officers of Denbighshire County Council (DCC) joined parents, staff, Governors and members of the community in the Neuadd to hear the positive case for keeping Ysgol Carrog open. The first part of the meeting consisted of presentations by the school, parents and community (outlined below). The overall message was clear - that Ysgol Carrog is not only a successful small rural school, but also the key to maintaining a vibrant, positive community. The open discussion raised some interesting points (both positive and negative) about what has happened and - more importantly - what might happen next, in the Managing School Places programme. DCC was not able to provide any answers but is aware that the current state of ‘limbo’ is not helping anyone. Informal discussion with individual Councillors afterwards revealed that they were impressed with our case, but were in no position to make promises about the future of the school. We will let you know as soon as we hear anything!

Quality and Caring

The theme of the school presentation was ‘Quality and caring’ and Mrs Lebbon and Mrs Jones highlighted the strengths of the school, such as the pupils themselves, the glowing inspection reports, the team of highly trained and experienced staff, the good state of maintenance of the buildings, impressive facilities, and the strong Welsh ethos. Links with the community were illustrated, such as the way in which the school and community interact with school events, twinning events, Carnival, Church and Chapel services and the importance given to providing a broad education through having lots of visits out and visitors into the school.

Passion

‘Passion’ was the theme of the presentation given on behalf of parents by Mrs Jane Knight. She explored the passion that parents feel about having choice about the school that their child attends, the importance of having access to the best quality education, valuing the broad perspective provided by lots of visits out and visitors in, the strong Welsh ethos and the need for a flexible, local support system (such as that provided by the nursery and after school club). Jayne also highlighted some of the concerns that parents have about the area schools that are proposed as an alternative if small rural schools are closed. These included fears that area schools might mean larger year groups, more problems with truancy, drugs and bullying, transporting children as young as 4 years on unsupervised buses for up to 45 minutes, loss of the strong Welsh ethos, and a variety of negative effects on the local rural community.

Harmony and Balance

The presentation on behalf of the community was delivered by Community Councillor and long-standing school Governor, Brynle Hughes. He explained the ways in which the community and school interact and how the community of Carrog adds ‘harmony and balance’ to the passion provided by parents and the quality and caring provided by the school. He pointed out that the community supported each child‘s education and development, and was also an environment where a child learned the importance of living within and contributing to a community, and the need to value and recognize all individuals. Brynle expressed concern about the ways in which the closure of the school might impact on the community, including further erosion of the quality of rural life, loss of valuable resources (e.g. local nursery and after school club), job losses, and fewer services in the Church and Chapel to name just a few. In short - to Carrog, the closure of its local school might condemn the village to the status of just another passive rural ’dormitory‘ serving the urban areas of Corwen and Llangollen.

Dr Sarah Smith, Chair of the Board of Governors of Ysgol Carrog

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