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Report recommends closure of Ysgol Abersoch at end of year

Ysgol Abersocg © Alan Fryer (CC-BY-SA 2.0).

A report to be considered by Cyngor Gwynedd's Cabinet on June 15 recommends issuing a statutory notice on the proposal to close Ysgol Abersoch on December 31 2021 with pupils to attend Ysgol Sarn Bach from January 2022.

This follows detailed discussions regarding the school's vulnerable situation due to the small number of pupils and discussions on various options on how to respond to the situation with the school's governing body, staff and parents, then a statutory consultation on the proposal.

There is a capacity for 32 pupils at Ysgol Abersoch, but with only eight children attending full time and two nursery pupils, 76% of the school is empty. Projections do not indicate that there will be a significant increase in pupil numbers at the school over the next few years.

Because of the concerns about the vulnerable situation, the Council has undertaken a statutory consultation on the proposal to close and offering places for children at Ysgol Sarn Bach, and full consideration has been given to the comments received during the process.

Councillor Cemlyn Williams, Gwynedd Council's Cabinet Member for Education, said:

"I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the statutory consultation, including pupils, staff and governors of Ysgol Abersoch.

“I fully appreciate that this is a difficult time and it is always sad when a consultation must be held on the future of any school. Full consideration has been given to all the options put forward and I am grateful to everyone who has contributed.

“Presenting this report is not something that we take lightly, but we have a duty to ensure that we provide the best possible education and experiences along with the best possible learning environment for our children.

"Having evaluated all the options in detail, and given the projections that the school's pupil numbers will remain worryingly low for the coming years, the recommendation is that Ysgol Abersoch should close at the end of 2021.

“As part of the proposal, pupils would be offered to attend nearby Ysgol Sarn Bach from January 2022. Naturally there has been a desire in the village to see the school continue, and every effort will be made to ensure that there will be a strong link between the Abersoch community and Ysgol Sarn Bach where many pupils are already attending from Key Stage 2 age.”

Ysgol Abersoch provides education for children up to the age of eight, with pupils transferring to Ysgol Sarn Bach at the beginning of September following their eighth birthday.

If the Cabinet supports the recommendation, statutory notices will be published, with a 28 day objection period. After this period, a further report will be submitted to Gwynedd Council's Cabinet to decide whether or not to confirm the proposal.

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