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Question 1 – Describe your ideal school of the future – the types

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Question 1 – Describe your ideal school of the future – the types Powered By Docstoc
					              Analysis of Comments from the Conwy Primary School
                     Modernisation Engagement Roadshows
The Roadshows took place in 11 locations across Conwy County:
     Ysgol Glan Conwy
     Canolfan Glasdir
     Ysgol Ffordd Dyffryn
     Ysgol Glanwydden
     Ysgol Llandrillo yn Rhos
     Ysgol Cynfran
     Ysgol Sant Elfod
     Talhairan Memorial Hall
     Ysgol Dolwyddelan
     Ysgol Dolgarrog
     Ysgol Cerrigydrudion

A presentation was delivered by the Statutory Head of Education Services, outlining
the issues that have led Conwy to undertake a review of all of its Primary schools.
Following the presentation there was an opportunity to ask questions before attendees
were asked in groups to consider four questions. The same questions were used in
all Roadshows to ensure a consistent and fair opportunity for views to be shared.

536 people signed in at the Roadshows, of which:
         41.8% School Staff / Governors;
         4.7% Councillors / Community Councillors;
         37.9% Parents / Carers;
         15.7% Others.

Question 1 – Describe your ideal school of the future – the types of learning
experiences, buildings and equipment you would wish a child/young person to
access.

1.1      Overview of Ideal Class / School Size
         The majority of responses in the Roadshow would prefer class sizes of less than 25,
         with no strong opinions on a minimum. Generally the opinion is that smaller class
         sizes have a direct impact on delivering a better standard of education, and a fear that
         with larger class sizes the teachers and headteachers will struggle to maintain
         teacher/pupil relationships. The feedback from the Roadshows and the questionnaires
         suggested that there should be a reduction in the range of mixed age/year classes,
         however some groups felt strongly that there were benefits to this arrangement e.g.
         tolerance, abilities, mentoring, learning to work with each other.

      1.1.1    Breakdown of Class Sizes:
               Between 20 & 25
               18 Responses:
                     9 between 20 & 25 or capped at 25 (1x Glan Conwy, 2x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x
                     Glanwydden, 2x Cynfran, 3x St Elfod)
                     1 capped at 24 (1x Cynfran)
                     1 capped at 22 (1x Talhaiarn Hall)



                                             Page 1 of 17
                      5 capped at 20 (1x Llandrillo Yn Rhos, 1x Cynfran, 1x Dolgarrog, 1x
                      Talhaiarn Hall, 1x Canolfan Glasdir)
                      1 between 16 and 25 (1x St Elfod)
              Between 15 & 20
              7 Responses:
                    2 between 15 & 20 (1x Llanfairfechan, 1x Glanwydden)
                    4 capped at 15 (1x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 2x Dolwyddelan, 1x Cerrigydrudion)
                    1 apx. 18 (1x Glan Conwy)
              Less than 15
              3 Responses:
                     1 less than 15 (1x Cerrigydrudion)
                     1 less than 12 (1x Glanwydden)
                     1 less than 10 (1x Glan Conwy)
              Other
                      15 – 24 (urban), 4 – 24 rural (1x Llandrillo Yn Rhos)

      1.1.2   Breakdown of Additional Comments:
              Smaller classes mean a better standard of education – 8 Responses
              (1x Glanwydden, 3x St Elfod, 1x Dolgarrog, 1x Cerrigydrudion, 1x Glan Conwy, 1x
              Canolfan Glasdir)

              Classes should be not too large and not too small – 3 Reponses
              (1x Glan Conwy, 1x Glanwydden, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn)

              Classes should be not too large – 8 Responses
              (2x Cynfran, 2x St Elfod, 1x Dolgarrog, 2x Cerrigydrudion, 1x Llandrillo yn
              Rhos)

              Classes should not be too small – 1 Response
              (1x Cynfran)

              Reduce age/year mixed classes – 11 Responses
              (1x Glanwydden, 1x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 1x Cynfran, 1x St Elfod, 1x
              Talhaiarn Hall, 2x Dolwyddelan, 2x Dolgarrog, 1x Llanfairfechan, 1x Glan Conwy)

              Maintain age/year mixed classes – 5 Responses
              (1x Glanwydden, 2x Cerrigydrudion, 2x Cynfran)

      1.1.3   General Additional Comments:
              Bilingual streams are necessary (Glanwydden)
              Ensure there is flexibility with the space (St Elfod)
              Don’t want large schools. We need to keep small schools and the size of the
              school should reflect need of the community – “one size fits all” is not appropriate
              (Cerrigydrudion)
              Everyone takes part in a small school (Cerrigydrudion)


1.2      Overview of Teacher Pupil Ratio
          The majority of feedback suggested there should be 2 adults, of which one is a
          qualified teacher, in classes of any size.
      1.2.1 Breakdown of Teacher Pupil Ratio:
              2:25 adults (1 of which is a teacher) - 1 Response



                                               Page 2 of 17
                     2:25 1 a teacher (1x Cynfran)
              2:15-20 adults (1 of which is a teacher) - 4 Responses
                     2:15/20 adults 1 a teacher (1x Llanfairfechan)
                     2:20 older, 1:20 younger (1x Dolgarrog)
                     2:15 adults (1x Dolwyddelan)
                     2:22 (1x Talhaiarn Hall)
              2 Adults in any Class (1 of which is a teacher) - 3 Responses
                     2 adults in any class (1x Llandrillo yn Rhos)
                     1x teacher 1x assistant regardless (2x St Elfod)
              1:20-25 teachers - 4 Responses
                     1:20 Junior (1x Glan Conwy)
                     1: 24 max (1x Cynfran)
                     20:1 (1x Talhaiarn Hall)
                     1:15 or 2:25, 1 a teacher (1x Cynfran)
              Other - 4 Responses
                     1:25 teacher, 1:8 adult (1x St Elfod)
                     1:8 Foundation (1 x Glan Conwy)
                     1:8 dependent on needs & ability (1x Cerrigydrudion)
                     1:15 then OK for class of 30 (1x Llandrillo yn Rhos)

      1.2.2   General Additional Comments:
              Numbers count – teacher pupil ratio (Glanwydden)
              Know the pupils individually (Cynfran)
              Fair teacher pupil ratio (Dolwyddelan)

1.3      Overview of Building and Facilities
         Outdoor Soft/Hard Play Areas (owned or access to), ICT/IT/Technology and a Hall
         Communal Area were the most suggested facilities for Conwy schools of the future.
         Other facilities identified in more than 5 responses were (in descending order): Library;
         Plenty of Space; Safe Building / Security; Style of Buildings; Environmentally Friendly /
         Outdoor Classroom; SEN & Specialist Facilities / Room; Condition of buildings / rooms
         / toilets; DDA; Art Area / Wet Area.

      1.3.1   Breakdown of Building and Facilities:
              Outdoor Soft / Hard Play Areas (owned or access to) – 19 Responses
              (3x Glan Conwy, 2x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Glanwydden, 1x Llandrillo Yn Rhos, 4x
              Cynfran, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 2x Talhaiarn Hall, 1x Llanfairfechan, 2x Dolwyddelan,
              2x Dolgarrog)
              ICT/IT/Technology – 18 Responses
              (2x Glan Conwy, 3x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Glanwydden, 1x Llandrillo Yn Rhos, 4x
              Cynfran, 2x St Elfod, 1x Talhaiarn Hall, 1x Llanfairfechan, 1x Dolwyddelan, 1x
              Dolgarrog, 1x Canolfan Glasdir)
              Hall/Communal Area – 11 Responses
              (2x Glan Conwy, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Glanwydden, 1x Cynfran, 1x St Elfod, 1x
              Talhaiarn Hall, 1x Llanfairfechan, 1x Dolwyddelan, 2x Dolgarrog)
              Library – 9 Responses
              (2x Ffordd Dyffryn, 2x Cynfran, 1x St Elfod, 1x Llanfairfechan, 1x Dolwyddelan, 1x
              Dolgarrog, 1x Talhaiarn Hall)
              Plenty of Space – 9 Responses



                                              Page 3 of 17
        (1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 2x Glanwydden, 1x St Elfod, 2x Dolgarrog, 2x Cerrigydrudion,
        1x Cynfran)
        Safe Building / Security – 8 Responses
        (2x Glan Conwy, 2x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Glanwydden, 2x Cynfran, 1x St Elfod)
        Style of Buildings (e.g. bright, warm, welcoming) – 7 Responses
        (1x Glan Conwy, 1x Glanwydden, 1x Cynfran, 2x St Elfod, 1x Dolwyddelan, 1x
        Dolgarrog)
        Environmentally Friendly / Outdoor Classroom (e.g. garden areas, woodland)
        - 7 Responses
        (2x Ffordd Dyffryn, 2x Glanwydden, 2x St Elfod, 1x Dolgarrog)
        SEN & Specialist Facilities / Room – 7 Responses
        (2x Cynfran, 2x St Elfod, 1x Dolgarrog, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Llandrillo yn Rhos)
        Condition of buildings, rooms and toilets – 7 Responses
        (3x Glan Conwy, 1x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 1x Glanwydden, 1x Llanfairfechan, 1x Glan
        Conwy)
        DDA – 7 Responses
        (2x Glan Conwy, 2x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x St Elfod, 1x Llanfairfechan, 1x Dolgarrog)

        Art Area / Wet Area– 6 Responses
        (1x Glan Conwy, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Glanwydden, 2x Cynfran, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn)
        Staff Room / Office Space / Meeting Room – 5 Responses
        (1x Glan Conwy, 2x Llanfairfechan, 2x Cynfran)
        Music Room – 4 Responses
        (2x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Llanfairfechan, 1x Dolwyddelan)

        Dining Room – 3 Responses
        (1x Cynfran, 1x Glanwydden, 1x Llanfairfechan,
        Car Parking Facilities – 2 Responses
        (1x Cynfran, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn,

1.3.2   Additional Suggestions:
        Reception areas (Glan Conwy)
        Foundation Phase area – sand, water, fenced off area (Ffordd Dyffryn)
        Separate Canteen to hall (Ffordd Dyffryn)
        Cooking facilities (Glanwydden)
        Healthy school meals (Glanwydden)
        Quality resources – staff and equipment (Glanwydden)
        Location is important – natural resources available, fresh air, develop an interest in
        healthy activities (Glanwydden)
        Look to other schools. We need suitable equipment to learn (Glanwydden)
        Resources for all needs, ages and abilities from foundation phase up (Cynfran)
        Encourage outside agencies – e.g. one stop shop (Cynfran)
        Kitchen for pupils to cook (Cynfran)
        Special outdoor (sheltered) play area for the very young (Cynfran)
        Community room (Cynfran)
        Counselling room (Cynfran)
        First Aid area (Cynfran)
        Outdoor Education (St Elfod)
        Stimulating and safe play areas (St Elfod)
        Equipment – safe for age group (St Elfod)



                                         Page 4 of 17
              Swimming pool not far away (St Elfod)
              Video conferencing (St Elfod)
              Resources e.g. adult chairs (St Elfod)
              Equipment suitable to the delivery of learning experiences (Talhaiarn Hall)
              Recreational area internal/external – with play equipment (Llanfairfechan)
              School catering (Llanfairfechan)
              Own kitchens (Dolwyddelan)
              Adequate resources (Dolwyddelan)
              Science (Dolgarrog)
              Gym (Dolgarrog)
              Canteen (Dolgarrog)
              Nursery Facilities (Dolgarrog)
              Academic resources (Dolgarrog)
              School trips (Dolgarrog)
              Appropriate, safe environment / useful (Dolgarrog)
              The buildings are not important – the people are (Cerrigydrudion)
              Resources/equipment (Cerrigydrudion)
              Nursery school is part of the school (Dolgarrog)
              Swimming pool (Talhaiarn Hall)


1.4      Overview of Travel
         The general consensus was that where possible children should have the option of
         walking to school, the distance was inconclusive but should be kept to a minimum.
         Safe routes to schools were highlighted as important.

      1.4.1   Breakdown of Travel:
              Walking Distance - 11 Responses
                     7 No distance specified (1x Glan Conwy1x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 1x
              Cynfran, 1x St Elfod, 1x Talhaiarn Hall, 1x Dolwyddelan, 1x Dolgarrog)
                     2 Specified no more than 1 mile (1x Llanfairfechan, 1x Dolgarrog)
                     1 Specified no more than 2 miles (1x Llandrillo yn Rhos)
                     1 Specified in urban areas (Cynfran - also in comments)

              Safe Routes to Schools - 4 Responses
                    (1x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 1x Cynfran, 2x St Elfod)

      1.4.2   General Additional Comments:
              Local minimum travelling required (Glan Conwy)
              Travel – not great distances (Ffordd Dyffryn)
              Acceptable travelling distance – rural max 5 miles (Cynfran)
              Easy access for pupils – minimum 3 miles (St Elfod)
              Reduce the need to transport children (Talhaiarn Hall)


1.5      Overview of Community
         A community school serves its local area, with the school’s curriculum reflecting the
         community, enhancing children’s education and providing all the community with a
         sense of belonging. Feedback from the Roadshows held a strong message
         concerning the importance of the school to the local community, with the loss of this as
         the main risk if a school closes.




                                              Page 5 of 17
1.5.1   Breakdown – What is a Community School:
        Serving the Local Area – 28 Responses
           Strong links with the Community – 3 Responses
               (1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Dolwyddelan, 1x Canolfan Glasdir)
           Open for community use – 9 Responses
              (1x Glanwydden, 2x Cerrigydrudion, 1x Dolwyddelan, 1x Cynfran, 2x Glan
              Conwy, 1x Talhaiarn Hall, 1x St Elfod)
           School active in its community – 8 Responses
              (1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 2x Talhaiarn Hall, 1x Canolfan Glasdir, 1x Glanwydden,
              2x Cerrigydrudion, 1x Llandrillo yn Rhos)
           Heart of the Community – sustaining the community – 4 Responses
              (2x Dolwyddelan, 1x Dolgarrog, 1x Talhaiarn Hall)
           Extended school activities / clubs – 4 Responses
              (1x Cerrigydrudion, 1x St Elfod, 2x Llanfairfechan)
        Enhancing Children’s Education / Curriculum Reflecting the Community - 23
        Responses
           Language – 4 Responses
              (1x Glanwydden, 2x Talhaiarn Hall, 1x Cerrigydrudion)
           Curriculum linked to the local community - 16 Responses
              (2x Talhaiarn Hall, 6x Cerrigydrudion, 5x Canolfan Glasdir, 1x Cynfran, 1x
              Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Glanwydden)
           Meeting Additional Needs - 3 Responses
             (1x Dolwyddelan, 1x Cynfran, 1x Cerrigydrudion)
        A Sense of Belonging - 18 Responses
           Good Relationships - 6 Responses
              (1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x St Elfod, 2x Cerrigydrudion, 1x Dolwyddelan, 1x
              Dolgarrog)
           Supporting Children – 12 Responses
              (1x Glanwydden, 10x Cerrigydrudion, 1x St Elfod,

1.5.2   Suggestions For Community Use Of Schools:
             Cylch Ti a Fi located within the school (Dolwyddelan)
             Room for adult support (Cynfran)
             Encourage more community usage – e.g. community hall, links with health
             facilities for breakfast/after school clubs (Cynfran)
             Serving its community – extended role – open 8am to 9pm for all (Llandrillo
             yn Rhos)
             Support facilities in some schools for family rooms (Ffordd Dyffryn)
             Family room (Glan Conwy)
             Focal point for community – ‘one-stop-shop’ within school hours (Glan
             Conwy)
             Community use and by other agencies e.g. Doctors (Ffordd Dyffryn)
             Large hall – community use (access added income) (Ffordd Dyffryn)
             Be Creative in its use (Glan Conwy)
             Breakfast / after school clubs – Focus groups, good start (Ffordd Dyffryn)
             After school care / activities (Glanwydden)
             Various support all on one site (Glanwydden)



                                       Page 6 of 17
                     Extend the school community to encourage the local community to use it
                     (Glanwydden)

      1.5.3   General Additional Comments:
                    Unite the community – the school is important (Canolfan Glasdir)
                    A school that is the focus of the community can be small (Cerrigydrudion)
                    It is about geographical location (Glan Conwy)
                    This is an opportunity to see how we can better use schools in our
                    community (Glan Conwy)
                    Involvement of a community in its school encourages local support for that
                    school (Dolwyddelan)
                    If a school closes, what does the school building provide for the
                    community? (Dolwyddelan)
                    There should be a Nursery within the school area (Cynfran)
                    Keep it as we are - we are a close knit community (Cynfran)
                    Community – pupils, parent, health, social services (St Elfod)
                    Must consider the security if the school is in use by the public during school
                    hours (St Elfod)

1.6      Overview of Teaching / Support and Education Standards
         High quality education is expected, with many of you sharing the importance of
         maintaining good teacher pupil relationships. The feedback from the roadshows was
         around the importance of strong leadership, adequate levels of support staff being in
         place and skilled experienced staff in schools.

      1.6.1   Breakdown of Teaching / Support:

              Strong Leadership – 7 Responses
              (2x Glanwydden, 2x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 2x Cynfran, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn)
              Good Relationship with Children / Individual Attention – 8 Responses
              (1x Glanwydden, 1x Dolgarrog, 4x Cerrigydrudion, 2x Glasdir)
              Skilled and Experienced Staff – 5 Responses
              (1x Glan Conwy, 1x Glanwydden, 1x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 1x Dolwyddelan, 1x
              Glasdir)
              Adequate Support Staff – 6 Responses
              (2x Ffordd Dyffryn, 2x Glanwydden, 1x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 1x Cerrigydrudion)

      1.6.2   General Additional Comments
                    Enthusiastic teachers are important – invest in staff (Talhaiarn Hall)
                    Teachers are the best resource (Cerrigydrudion)
                    Enthusiastic teachers that are aware of their roots (Cerrigydrudion)
                    A non-teaching headteacher supporting with some contact with pupils
                    (Ffordd Dyffryn)
                    Shared responsibility equals ownership (Llandrillo yn Rhos)
                    Teaching Assistants need to be suitably qualified to support (Cynfran)
                    Parent’s opportunity for more access to teachers (Cynfran)
                    Staff should be kind and accommodate the needs of the children (Talhaiarn
                    Hall)
                    Satisfactory working environment e.g. structure (Talhaiarn Hall)
                    Whole community works with the school, activities which promote Welsh
                    (Cerrigydrudion)
                    Partnership (Cerrigydrudion)




                                              Page 7 of 17
Question 2 - What is your opinion regarding the present range of pupil funding
and the growing number of unfilled places within Conwy primary schools?

2.1      Overview of Present Range of Funding
         Whilst some of you believe that the Authority should be considering cost effectiveness,
         the majority of responses felt that funding should not be a driver and the cost per pupil
         figures are not a reasonable way of demonstrating the cost of education. This was
         reflected in the clear message from the Roadshows that we should accept that rural
         schools cost more to run than schools in urban areas.

      2.1.1   Breakdown of Present Range of Funding:
              Accept that rural schools cost more to run - 28 Responses
              (2x Glanwydden, 1x Talhaiarn Hall, 2x Dolwyddelan, 2x Dolgarrog, 7x
              Cerrigydrudion, 2x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 1x Talhaiarn Hall, 2x
              Dolgarrog, 8x Canolfan Glasdir)

              Should consider Cost effectiveness / fairness / formula – 27 Responses
              (5x Glan Conwy, 4x Ffordd Dyffryn, 4x Glanwydden, 2x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 3x
              Cynfran, 2x St Elfod, 1x Llanfairfechan, 3x Talhaiarn Hall, 2x Cerrigydrudion, 1x
              Canolfan Glasdir)

              Cost per pupil – not reasonable way of demonstrating cost of education – 7
              Responses
              (1x Cerrigydrudion, 2x Glan Conwy, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 2x Dolwyddelan, 1x
              Glanwydden)

              Funding should not be a driver – 19 Responses
              (4x Glan Conwy, 2x Ffordd Dyffryn, 2x Glanwydden, 1x St Elfod, 1x Dolwyddelan,
              1x Dolgarrog, 3x Cerrigydrudion, 1x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 1x St Elfod, 1x Talhaiarn
              Hall, 2x Canolfan Glasdir)

      2.1.2   General Additional Comments
                    What about the cost of central services? (Glanwydden)
                    How can you cost the input of central services’ in schools – should this be
                    factored in? (Dolgarrog)
                    What about the cost of the Foundation Phase? (Glanwydden)
                    Analyse the cost of the ideal school for all pupils and fund accordingly
                    (Llandrillo yn Rhos)
                    Be careful not to discriminate against small schools (Llandrillo yn Rhos)
                    Is it cost effective to support small schools? (Cynfran)
                    Consider the use of resources to give value for money (St Elfod)
                    Can schools be used for other activities to subsidise budget? (St Elfod)
                    Funding should be separate from building costs (St Elfod)
                    What about investment to bring them up to standard – WAG 3-year funding
                    programme? (St Elfod)
                    Strict catchments to prevent over subscription should be enforced (St Elfod)
                    More savings in urban schools could provide funding opportunities for small
                    schools (Dolwyddelan)
                    Planning e.g. affordable housing would strengthen communities
                    (Cerrigydrudion)
                    Do bigger classes produce more young people who commit crime?
                    (Cerrigydrudion)
                    Overall savings would not be a lot (Cerrigydrudion)
                    Countryside assembly – conflicting priorities (Cerrigydrudion)


                                              Page 8 of 17
                  Older staff are more expensive (Cerrigydrudion)
                  There is a lack of affordable housing in the country (Canolfan Glasdir)
                  It is easier for teachers to travel than children (Canolfan Glasdir)
                  We should put pressure on the assembly – a clear strategy is needed
                  (Canolfan Glasdir)
                  All schools should have a basic level of facilities (Glan Conwy)
                  This would not generally happen in private business, but we should allow
                  some tolerances e.g. TNT delivery coverage (Ffordd Dyffryn)
                  Health Service can be comparable to the Local Authority – although this is
                  difficult (Ffordd Dyffryn)
                  Is federation an answer? (Ffordd Dyffryn)
                  Budget should support the important, cultural aspects of life (Glanwydden)
                  Viable community (Glanwydden)
                  Today’s community is more than yesterday’s village (Glanwydden)
                  It is up to schools to decide the best way to run the school (Cynfran)
                  Reflect communities – supporting the school to deliver (Cynfran)
                  Fund according to the needs of the pupil – across the board e.g. SEN,
                  special needs, disability (Cynfran)
                  Decisions should be fair (Cynfran)
                  The Local Authority should build a profile of the schools e.g. running costs
                  of building, to identify inefficiencies (Dolwyddelan)
                  Difficult to reduce the range (St Elfod)


2.2     Overview of Unfilled Places
        Feedback from the Roadshows was that the Authority must be careful to keep some
        spare places within our schools to accommodate any increase in pupils and many of
        you felt we should explore how to use the space more effectively, and why pupil
        numbers are decreasing.

2.2.1      Breakdown of Unfilled Places:
           Need to maintain some unfilled places –17 Responses
           (1x Glan Conwy, 1x Glanwydden, 2x Cynfran, 3x St Elfod, 1x Talhaiarn Hall, 1x
           Dolgarrog, 4x Cerrigydrudion, 2x Dolwyddelan, 2x Llandrillo yn Rhos)
           Need to address the number of unfilled places – 8 Responses
           (1x Glan Conwy, 1x Dolgarrog, 4x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 2x St Elfod)
           Unfilled places are linked to parental choice – 8 Responses
           (3x Glan Conwy, 2x Ffordd Dyffryn, 2x Glanwydden, 1x Llandrillo yn Rhos)
           Can we use the space more effectively? – 10 Responses
           (2x Glan Conwy, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 2x Cerrigydrudion, 1x Canolfan Glasdir, 2x
           Glanwydden, 1x Cynfran, 1x Dolgarrog)
           Consider the reasons for falling rolls/unfilled places – 14 Responses
           (5x Glan Conwy, 2x Cynfran, 1x Dolwyddelan, 3x Dolgarrog, 2x Cerrigydrudion, 1x
           Glanwydden)

2.2.2      General Additional Comments
                 Are you considering over-subscribed schools? (Glan Conwy)
                 Could it end up that schools will advertise for pupils? (Glan Conwy)
                 There is confusion regarding the percentages stated (Glan Conwy)
                 Infant / junior split is difficult for parents (Ffordd Dyffryn)
                 We need to find a balance. (Glanwydden)
                 What is the definition of an empty place? (Glanwydden)



                                           Page 9 of 17
                   What about the additional cost of travelling to an ‘Area’ school’ (more than a
                   teacher?) (Glanwydden)
                   Unaware of unfilled spaces (St Elfod)
                   Mixed age classes can benefit younger children, but hold back older
                   children (St Elfod)
                   More teacher planning regarding the curriculum is needed (St Elfod)
                   Is there a minimum pupil number for each school? (Talhaiarn Hall)
                   Many schools are experiencing increasing numbers (Dolwyddelan)
                   25 ebb and flow (Dolgarrog)
                   Do not allow “One size fits all” (Dolgarrog)
                   Recurring numbers (Cerrigydrudion)
                   Look at it positively – schools are half full instead of half empty (Canolfan
                   Glasdir)
                   Are there empty spaces? There is not much room to admit more children.
                   (Canolfan Glasdir)
                   What is the relevance of the formula? (Canolfan Glasdir)
                   Where are the savings? (Canolfan Glasdir)
                   Less children in school for the benefit of the child (Canolfan Glasdir)


Question 3 - What are the benefits / weaknesses of an Area school?

3.1     Overview of the Benefits and Weaknesses of an Area School
        The main concerns with this option were around the risks of communities losing their
        identity, individual pupils becoming lost in larger schools/classes and the impact on
        travel (e.g. cost, distance). Additional concerns identified were; loss of parental
        support / involvement and loss of teaching posts.

        When considering the benefits, the majority of responses felt there were benefits
        around broader internal and external social opportunities and opportunities for
        improved buildings and facilities. Additional benefits identified were; opportunities for
        savings and investment, more specialist teachers / teaching skills and opportunities for
        communities

3.1.1      Breakdown of Weaknesses:
           Negative impact on the Community / loss of identity – 42 Responses
           (4x Glan Conwy, 3x Ffordd Dyffryn, 2x Glanwydden, 5x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 3x
           Cynfran, 4x St Elfod, 5x Talhaiarn Hall, 1x Dolwyddelan, 5x Dolgarrog, 7x
           Cerrigydrudion, 3x Canolfan Glasdir)

           Smaller schools can provide more for the needs each individual pupil – 42
           Responses
           (2x Glan Conwy, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 4x Glanwydden, 2x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 4x
           Cynfran, 1x St Elfod, 2x Talhaiarn Hall, 6x Dolwyddelan, 3x Dolgarrog, 13x
           Cerrigydrudion, 4x Canolfan Glasdir)

           Travel – 38 Responses
           Anticipated increase in cost of travel – 13 Responses
           (1x Glan Conwy, 1x Glanwydden, 2x Cynfran, 1x St Elfod, 1x Talhaiarn Hall, 2x
           Dolwyddelan, 2x Dolgarrog, 2x Cerrigydrudion, 1x Canolfan Glasdir)

           Children Travelling further – 12 Responses
           (1x Glan Conwy, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Cynfran, 1x St Elfod, 1x Talhaiarn Hall, 2x
           Dolwyddelan, 1x Dolgarrog, 3x Cerrigydrudion, 1x Canolfan Glasdir)


                                            Page 10 of 17
        General Transport Issues – 13 Responses
        (2x Glan Conwy, 1x Glanwydden, 2x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 2x St Elfod, 1x Talhaiarn
        Hall, 1x Dolwyddelan, 2x Cerrigydrudion, 2x Ffordd Dyffryn)

        Loss of parental support / involvement – 13 Responses
        (1x Glan Conwy, 1x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 2x Dolwyddelan, 2x Dolgarrog, 5x
        Cerrigydrudion, 1x Canolfan Glasdir, 1x Glanwydden)

        Loss of teaching / headteacher posts – 15 Responses
        (1x Cerrigydrudion, 1x Dolgarrog, 1x Dolwyddelan, 2x Talhaiarn Hall, 3x St Elfod,
        1x Cynfran, 2x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 2x Glanwydden, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Glan
        Conwy)

3.1.2   Additional Comments - Weaknesses
        Linguistic differences between areas (Canolfan Glasdir)
        Bad feeling between villages – everything in one area at the expense of others.
        (Canolfan Glasdir)
        The young show an interest in their local communities – children do not show any
        interest in their city (Cerrigydrudion)
        Lose opportunities to work together (Cerrigydrudion)
        We will not be creating one area school, but losing three (Cerrigydrudion)
        There will be an additional cost to modify the buildings (Cerrigydrudion)
        Incomers – pull together (English) (Cerrigydrudion)
        Area is too big locally (Cerrigydrudion)
        Negative long-term affects (Cerrigydrudion)
        New small school (threat) (Cerrigydrudion)
        One / two areas will lose their schools (Cerrigydrudion)
        Language issues may develop (Cerrigydrudion)
        Don’t agree with the formula for working out spaces (Cerrigydrudion)
        There will be impacts on the Governing system (Cerrigydrudion)
        The school will be too big (Dolgarrog)
        Difficult to create a governing body from 3 schools (Dolgarrog)
        Initial disruption to overcome (Dolgarrog)
        We may lose the number of teams competing in the Eisteddfod (Dolgarrog)
        Facility management may fall into ‘private’ hands (Dolgarrog)
        Too great a distance between schools of similar characteristics (Dolwyddelan)
        This will conflict with other council initiatives (Dolwyddelan)
        Childminders may be affected (Dolwyddelan)
        It may work in urban areas, but not in rural areas (Dolwyddelan)
        Impact on areas of conservation (Talhaiarn Hall)
        Waste of money (Talhaiarn Hall)
        Attendance issues will arise (Talhaiarn Hall)
        Loss of youth interaction and adult interaction (St Elfod)
        Negative environmental costs (St Elfod)
        Negative environmental impact – site / travel (St Elfod)
        Upheaval for children (St Elfod)
        Standards may fall (Cynfran)
        There will be a higher pupil teacher ratio (Cynfran)
        School may end up in a different area (Cynfran)
        If children further from communities – there will be an affect on attendance
        (Cynfran)
        Cost of building prohibitive (Cynfran)
        More appropriate to share resources – social / physical (Llandrillo yn Rhos)



                                       Page 11 of 17
        Discrimination against larger schools, with preference to small schools (Llandrillo
        yn Rhos)
        Lose individual subjects by creating bigger schools (Glanwydden)
        Careful of over-crowding – needs to be appropriate size (Glanwydden)
        Language issues may arise (Glan Conwy)
        Impact on headteacher – suddenly 3-times more pupils (Glan Conwy)
        Impact on feeder playgroups? – Pre-school provision? (Glan Conwy)
        Economies of scale e.g. IT suite (Glan Conwy)

3.1.3   Breakdown of Benefits
        Broader internal and external social opportunities – 18 Responses
        (1x Glan Conwy, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Glanwydden, 6x Cynfran, 6x St Elfod, 2x
        Talhaiarn Hall, 1x Canolfan Glasdir)
        Opportunity for improved buildings / Facilities – 17 Responses
        (3x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Glanwydden, 2x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 4x Cynfran, 3x St Elfod,
        1x Talhaiarn Hall, 2x Dolgarrog, 1x Cerrigydrudion)
        Opportunity for savings and investment – 14 Responses
        (5x Glan Conwy, 2x Ffordd Dyffryn, 2x Glanwydden, 3x Cynfran, 2x St Elfod)
        Assist with staff recruitment – 6 Responses
        (2x Glan Conwy, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 2x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 1x Cynfran)
        More specialist teachers / teaching skills – 14 Responses
        (1x Glan Conwy, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 2x Glanwydden, 1x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 3x
        Cynfran, 3x St Elfod, 2x Dolgarrog, 1x Canolfan Glasdir)
        Opportunities for communities – 5 Responses
        (1x Talhaiarn Hall, 2x Canolfan Glasdir, 2x Glanwydden)

3.1.4   Additional Comments – Benefits
        Opportunity for pooling resources and expertise (Ffordd Dyffryn)
        Porth-y-Felin is a good example (Glanwydden)
        Better than a federal school – what other options are there? (Glanwydden)
        Closer / easier relationship with LEA (Cynfran)
        Stronger parental voice / relationship with school (Cynfran)


3.1.5   General Additional Comments
        Area schools would only work in urban areas (Glan Conwy)
        The Area school would need to be sustainable (Glan Conwy)
        Area schools offer themselves as an answer in some areas (Glan Conwy)
        Select a site on the basis of ‘ideal’ rather than convenience or cost (Glan Conwy)
        This is an issue for both rural and urban schools (Ffordd Dyffryn)
        Size of school should be approximately 120 pupils (Ffordd Dyffryn)
        School should not be too big – small teams are better, and it is important that staff
        know children as individuals (Ffordd Dyffryn)
        Schools can be too small – multi-age group e.g. 7-11 mixed (Ffordd Dyffryn)
        Each school needs to be looked at individually – the consider the whole picture in
        the profile (Ffordd Dyffryn)
        Future capacity needs must be considered, some flexibility required (increasing
        birth rates) (Glan Conwy)
        Consider house building projects – school changes could affect builds in existing
        communities (Glan Conwy)
        Depends on the distance between schools (Ffordd Dyffryn)




                                        Page 12 of 17
Children are more important than saving money to create an ideal area school
(Ffordd Dyffryn)
Clash of facilities – schools need better joined up thinking (Ffordd Dyffryn)
Town and country have different needs (Ffordd Dyffryn)
Split big schools (suggestion) (Glanwydden)
Be mindful of birth rates and housing developments (Glanwydden)
It is critical that all plans e.g. housing and transport, feed into each other
(Glanwydden)
Bringing back workers into the area (after e.g. university) (Glanwydden)
Emotional / objective? (Glanwydden)
What will happen to the buildings? (Glanwydden)
Is it the school or the building that maintains a community? (Glanwydden)
What about the staff? (Glanwydden)
Is there a commitment to fund? (Glanwydden)
There needs to be a tight criterion in place before establishing an area school
(Glanwydden)
Transport is a financial factor (Glanwydden)
This is an urban issue as well as a rural issue (Glanwydden)
Urban joined up thinking (Glanwydden)
Look at the specific area (not one size fits all) (Glanwydden)
We need to ensure that the area school does not keep the ‘old’ routines and will
respond to the new area (Glanwydden)
A brand new school is better than using the site of the ‘old school’ (Glanwydden)
Ensure that the area school reflects the culture (language etc) of all communities in
the area (Glanwydden)
The transport policy must support any structure (Glanwydden)
Consider land issues – geographical (Llandrillo yn Rhos)
Consider buildings and resources (Llandrillo yn Rhos)
An Area school will need a strong leader, but also needs to be able to delegate
responsibility and know what is going on (Cynfran)
Ideal – 1 class per school (Cynfran)
Area school is more appropriate in an urban than a rural area – doesn’t mean
agree with the option (Llandrillo yn Rhos)
Limit the size of any school to between 120 and 150 (Cynfran)
What is the cost of this option? (St Elfod)
Finance has to be secure (St Elfod)
‘If it isn’t broken don’t fix it’ (St Elfod)
You have to be absolutely sure before we more forward (St Elfod)
Painful process of sales – lot of pain and for how much gain? (St Elfod)
Proximity, culture, religion and language issues need to be considered (St Elfod)
Depends on the distance between the existing schools (St Elfod)
People have to travel already (welsh or church schools) (St Elfod)
Need to keep individual ‘ownership’ and identity of the communities (St Elfod)
What is the optimum size for an Area school? (St Elfod)
Suggestion of 300 max (St Elfod)
What happens to staff and teachers? (St Elfod)
One solution cannot work for all (St Elfod)
Careful schools don’t get too big (St Elfod)
Could work better in an urban area (Talhaiarn Hall)
Language choice and education need to be considered (Talhaiarn Hall)
Does not affect towns as much (Talhaiarn Hall)
Increased cost of transport compared with a teacher salary (Talhaiarn Hall)
Character of old buildings should be retained and valued (Talhaiarn Hall)
Worry that this is a cost saving exercise (Cerrigydrudion)



                                Page 13 of 17
           The leader of an Area school would need to have a proven record of success
           (Cerrigydrudion)
           Will Area schools be able to accommodate increased numbers? (Dolwyddelan)
           Each school is important to its community (Dolwyddelan)
           It is imperative to secure the linguistic nature of each school’s community
           (Dolwyddelan)
           Need to invest in one school (Dolgarrog)
           Possibly work in urban areas (if all the schools are in one community)
           (Cerrigydrudion)


Question 4 - What are the benefits / weaknesses of a Federal school?

4.1     Overview of the Benefits and Weaknesses of an Federal School
        The main concerns with this option were around the risks of expecting one
        Headteacher to work across more than one site and that there does not seem to be
        any savings to be made within this option. Additional concerns identified were; more
        school moves for pupils, negative impacts on travel, local community representation on
        the Governing Body, losing the sense of belonging, inequality across the federal
        schools / a feeling of competition and that this option is one step nearer to an Area
        school.

        When considering the benefits, the majority of responses felt there were benefits for
        Teaching Staff / Headteacher around skill sharing / more open career paths, and
        keeping the school open in the Community. Additional benefits identified were; pupil
        benefits from shared resources and more experiences, opportunity to teach key stages
        / age groups separately, some financial savings can be made.

4.1.1      Breakdown of Weaknesses:
           There are no savings to be made from this arrangement – 37 Responses
                  Money required to maintain all the sites – 8 Responses
                  (2x Glan Conwy, 2x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Glanwydden, 1x St Elfod, 1x
                  Dolgarrog, 1x Cynfran)
                  Increased transport/staff costs - 11 Responses
                  (1x Glan Conwy, 3x Ffordd Dyffryn, 3x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 1x Cynfran, 1x
                  Dolgarrog, 2x Cerrigydrudion)
                  General – No Financial Savings - 18 Responses
                  (2x Glan Conwy, 1x Glanwydden, 1x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 2x Cynfran, 1x St
                  Elfod, 2x Llanfairfechan, 2x Dolwyddelan, 2x Dolgarrog, 4x Cerrigydrudion,
                  1x Canolfan Glasdir)
           Issues concerning Headteacher spread across more than one site (e.g.
           Headteacher/ parental contact, Headteacher / pupil contact, Headteacher /
           staff contact, Headteacher more of a manager role) – 39 Responses
           (3x Glan Conwy, 3x Ffordd Dyffryn, 3x Glanwydden, 4x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 8x
           Cynfran, 3x St Elfod, 2x Talhaiarn Hall, 2x Dolwyddelan, 2x Dolgarrog, 5x
           Cerrigydrudion, 4x Canolfan Glasdir)
           More transfers for pupils and negative impact on travelling (not costs) – 15
           Responses
           (1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 3x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 2x Cynfran, 3x St Elfod, 1x Talhaiarn
           Hall, 1x Llanfairfechan, 1x Dolwyddelan, 1x Dolgarrog, 2x Cerrigydrudion)




                                          Page 14 of 17
        Issues concerning Governing Body (fair representation of individual
        communities/schools, contact with teacher & pupils) – 11 Responses
        (1x Glan Conwy, 1x Glanwydden, 2x Cynfran, 1x St Elfod, 1x Dolgarrog, 4x
        Cerrigydrudion, 1x Canolfan Glasdir)
        Lose sense of Belonging – 5 Responses
        (1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Dolgarrog, 3x Cerrigydrudion)
        Inequality across schools / a feeling of competition – 12 Responses
        (1x Glan Conwy, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 3x Glanwydden, 2x Dolwyddelan, 4x
        Cerrigydrudion, 1x Canolfan Glasdir)
        First step towards an area school or closing a school – 5 Responses
        (1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x St Elfod, 1x Dolwyddelan, 2x Cerrigydrudion)

4.1.2   Additional Comments - Weaknesses
        The theory is OK, but in reality it will be difficult – keeping a balance is difficult
        (Glan Conwy)
        Finance is a factor (Glan Conwy)
        Division of pupils (Ffordd Dyffryn)
        Moving staff expertise (Ffordd Dyffryn)
        The new Headteacher qualification requirement is resulting in a lack of recruitment
        (Glanwydden)
        This is a cost cutting exercise (Glanwydden)
        Concern that this proposal is coming from a cost perspective rather than standards
        (Glanwydden)
        Risk of poor management system (Llandrillo yn Rhos)
        Decision making may be hindered (Llandrillo yn Rhos)
        Difficult for school staff (Cynfran)
        Logistics – e.g. teacher meetings, time (Cynfran)
        Stress / working conditions (Cynfran)
        Hierarchical (St Elfod)
        Even more difficult to attract ‘super head’. Future protection for this scenario (St
        Elfod)
        The ‘name’ of the school (St Elfod)
        Lack of contact time for Headteachers is a financial saving to the county – other
        counties allocate more non-contact time for their headteacher (Dolwyddelan)
        Fewer Headteacher opportunities (Dolwyddelan)
        Loss of parental choice (Dolwyddelan)
        Negative impact on the social aspect (Dolgarrog)
        Still have unfilled places (Dolgarrog)
        Does not address the key problems (Dolgarrog)
        Is there room for compromise to achieve a solution? (Dolgarrog)
        Lack of children is a temporary situation and part of the natural population cycle in
        the countryside (Cerrigydrudion)
        Worried KS1 / KS2 will be separated (Cerrigydrudion)
        This is not an answer for empty spaces (Cerrigydrudion)
        Uncertainty (Cerrigydrudion)
        History of failure (Cerrigydrudion)
        Risk of losing more children (Cerrigydrudion)
        Communication issues (Cerrigydrudion)
        Language issues (Cerrigydrudion)
        Difficult to manage (Cerrigydrudion)
        Not in rural areas (Cerrigydrudion)
        Lose status – Site Manager (Canolfan Glasdir)
        Make up of Parent Teacher Association (Canolfan Glasdir)



                                        Page 15 of 17
4.1.3   Breakdown of Benefits:
        Teaching Staff / Headteacher benefit from skill sharing and more open career
        path – 24 Responses
        (1x Dolwyddelan, 3x Dolgarrog, 3x Cerrigydrudion, 2x Canolfan Glasdir, 1x
        Llandrillo yn Rhos, 3x Glanwydden, 4x Glan Conwy, 2x Ffordd Dyffryn, 3x Cynfran,
        2x St Elfod
        Keeps the school in the community / community identity – 20 Responses
        (1x Glan Conwy, 4x Ffordd Dyffryn, 2x Glanwydden, 1x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 3x
        Cynfran, 4x St Elfod, 1x Dolwyddelan, 1x Dolgarrog, 1x Cerrigydrudion, 2x
        Canolfan Glasdir)
        Pupils benefit from shared resources and more experiences – 15 Responses
        (2x Glan Conwy, 5x Ffordd Dyffryn, 4x Glanwydden, 2x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 1x St
        Elfod, 1x Dolgarrog)
        Financial savings – 10 Responses
        (3x Glan Conwy, 3x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Glanwydden, 2x Cynfran, 1x St Elfod)
        Opportunity to teach Key Stages / age groups separately – 7 Responses
        (2x Glan Conwy, 1x Ffordd Dyffryn, 1x Llandrillo yn Rhos, 1x Cerrigydrudion, 1x
        Dolgarrog, 1x Dolwyddelan)

4.1.4   Additional Comments - Benefits
        Parental choice will be increased (Glan Conwy)
        Welcome the strategic process (Glan Conwy)
        Flexible – allows for growth in population e.g. housing (Ffordd Dyffryn)
        Not such a shock to system when children enter the secondary school (Ffordd
        Dyffryn)
        If sites are close by, it allows for the movement of pupils to access facilities and
        resources e.g. PE (Ffordd Dyffryn)
        Could link communities (Llandrillo yn Rhos)
        Nothing to stop governors coming from each community (Glanwydden)
        Opportunity (Glanwydden)
        Less travel for pupils if they don’t move (Cynfran)
        Could work if schools sites are close together (Cynfran)
        Good relationships (St Elfod)
        Pupils will have more continuity and be more settled (Cerrigydrudion)
        The number of schools and distances are important considerations. (Canolfan
        Glasdir)
        Keep the language of the school. (Canolfan Glasdir)
        Equality of opportunity (Dolwyddelan)
        May possibly result in higher standard across Federal Schools (Llandrillo yn Rhos)

4.1 5   General Additional Comments
        Community use of building can generate income (Ffordd Dyffryn)
        Possible EU funding for inter-generation of rural areas (Ffordd Dyffryn)
        What about parental access, paperwork? (Ffordd Dyffryn)
        Distance is important (Ffordd Dyffryn)
        Don’t make schools too big – children would hate it (Ffordd Dyffryn)
        Need examples of good practice/success (Glanwydden)
        Does a federal head need qualifications? – Be cautious in case of following the
        NHS. (Glanwydden)
        Site leader is a curricular leader (Glanwydden)
        How much change is there in reality? (Glanwydden)
        Distance is a factor. (Glanwydden)


                                        Page 16 of 17
There is a place for federal schools. (Glanwydden)
Is this cost effective? (Llandrillo yn Rhos)
Community school are important (Cynfran)
Would need good head / leader (Cynfran)
Some savings, but some additional costs – would there be an overall saving?
(Cynfran)
What would be the impact on the class sizes and pupil teacher ratios? (Cynfran)
Exercise should be driven by pupils’ genuine needs, not cost (Cynfran)
Administrative support? (Cynfran)
How much money will this save? (Cynfran)
Geographical spread would be the key to success (St Elfod)
How will head divide their time? Peripatetic? Would need more management
skills (St Elfod)
How would meals be arranged? (St Elfod)
Is it more of a ‘satellite’ idea? (St Elfod)
Effective team would be essential to its success (St Elfod)
Would need more co-operation between headteachers (Talhaiarn Hall)
It is possible to co-operate without federalisation (Talhaiarn Hall)
Situations permitting (Talhaiarn Hall)
Share good practice (Talhaiarn Hall)
Better solution in an urban area (Talhaiarn Hall)
Where would the headteacher be stationed (Cerrigydrudion)
Don’t close our school (Dolwyddelan)
Can the community have building to use? (Dolwyddelan)
Age appropriate education (Dolwyddelan)
Can it work? (Dolwyddelan)
Diversity (Dolwyddelan)
Dependant on distance (Dolwyddelan)
Equality of opportunity (Dolwyddelan)
Is it possible to make savings in urban areas? (Cerrigydrudion)
Need to protect advantages of countryside – the Welsh and its culture
(Cerrigydrudion)
Is there evidence that federal schools enrich the quality of teaching?
(Cerrigydrudion)
May work in an urban area (Cerrigydrudion)




                               Page 17 of 17

				
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Description: Question 1 – Describe your ideal school of the future – the types