Denbighshire education boss defends state of Prestatyn high school

The Denbighshire Education Cabinet member defended Prestatyn High School after a councilor said the building was “overcrowded, in ruins and leaking”.

Last week Prestatyn adviser Paul Penlington claimed £ 107million had been spent on secondary and primary schools in Denbighshire – while Prestatyn High collapsed.

Cllr Penlington said much of the school was built in the 1950s, buckets were leaking and the school was beyond repair. Cllr Penlington went on to say that the school had experienced some of the highest bullying incidents as well as the lowest achievement levels in the county, adding: “Children are crammed into dilapidated and inadequate buildings like junk sardines “.

But the senior member of Denbighshire County Council for Education and Children’s Services has denied the allegations.

Speaking today, Cllr Huw Hilditch-Roberts said: “I would like to respond to recent news articles regarding Prestatyn High School.

“From what I understand, the elected member cited in the articles has not visited the school for over four years and has not spoken to the principal recently, nor attempted to request information from the school.

“The chosen one and I have a good working relationship, and I am surprised that he chose to speak to the press rather than raise the issue with me.

“I am concerned about the negative impact this could have on the students and staff who have worked hard to achieve great things at school.

“As a board, we have invested significant resources to ensure an excellent educational environment at the school. This is based on a schedule agreed between the school and the local authority to ensure that resources are targeted to the right areas.

“Between 2014 and this year, £ 2million was spent on maintaining and improving the school building, including renovating toilets and changing rooms, upgrading lighting and heating, as well as building works. on the roof, windows and renovation of mobile classrooms.

“It also includes the current renovation and overhaul of science labs to the highest specification.

“The council worked with the Welsh government to secure £ 95million in school renovations and new construction across the county as part of the 21st century school curriculum.

“The Council’s Strategic Framework Program for School Renovation submitted to the Welsh government in 2017 underscored the need to invest in Prestatyn in future funding rounds.

“I would also like to respond to claims about student performance, as I am happy to say that the school’s performance is in fact above the Welsh average in many measures. This is to the credit of the staff and students of the school.

He added, “The school also takes a zero tolerance approach to bullying, and the staff deal with all cases quickly and efficiently.

“I have visited the school and the board will continue to work closely with the principal and staff who work tirelessly to provide the best education and pastoral care possible.”

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