Posted: Tue 5th Sep 2023

Council chief dismisses claims that 14 Anglesey primary schools could close by 2030

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Sep 5th, 2023

A council chief executive has quashed rumours that his authority is discussing plans to close 14 rural Anglesey schools by 2030.

The issue came to light after Welsh language campaigners encouraged island residents to query the council’s commitment to its rural schools during the recent Anglesey Show.

It came after a draft strategy was put forward by Anglesey Council in May, which Cymdeithas yr Iaith claimed could spell the end for some primaries.

A statement later released on the group’s website said: “An internal document from the county council has come into the possession of the association which, it seems, recommends closing 14 primary schools before the end of the decade, and creating three new schools to centralise education.”

Robat Idris, national chairman of the association, appeared to cast doubt on the validity of the document, but still urged residents to lobby the council.

He said: “It is hard to believe that there is substance to the document as the vast majority of schools are on the government’s official list of rural schools to be protected and the school organisation code the government is setting a presumption in favour of keeping rural schools open.

“Closing them would mean that there would only be a handful of rural schools left from their list in Anglesey, which would inevitably lead to the centralisation of education provision.”

The group added: “Implementing a policy of such, means that young families stop settling in our rural communities, and the Welsh language would become more and more limited to the school classroom. In practice the council would set an example of abandoning rural communities.

“We very much hope that the document that was delivered to us is some insignificant position paper but we call on the public to ask the council if there is any basis for it.”

Since then, rumours have continued to circulate on social media.

But in a statement Anglesey Council’s chief executive, Dylan J Williams, said: “There is no discussion to close over 14 primary schools by 2030, as is alleged by Cymdeithas yr Iaith.

“Our school modernisation and Welsh language strategy has been formed in order to establish learning communities that are suitable for the next thirty years.

“This is in order to ensure the best possible opportunities for our children, young people and the Welsh language.

“As an authority, we will continue to conform with all Welsh Government expectations.

“We reemphasise that there have been no discussions to close over 14 primary schools by 2030 and that there is no internal paper as was alleged by Cymdeithas yr Iaith.”

By Dale Spridgeon – Local Democracy Reporter

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