PLANS are underway for a new Meirionnydd super school to open with no church affiliations.

Gwynedd Council’s cabinet will meet on Tuesday, 13 February, to consider a recommendation to issue statutory notices on the proposal to establish a Welsh Medium 3-19 Learning Campus with community status on the current Ysgol y Berwyn site, in Bala opening on 1 September, 2019.

This follows a statutory consultation on the proposal to reorganise schools in the Berwyn catchment area that was held between 22 November, 2017, and 10 January, 2018, to receive stakeholders’ comments on the proposal.

There was an outcry that the school was to open with Voluntary Controlled status, which meant that the Church in Wales would have had a strong influence on the school’s new board.

Governing bodies of Ysgol Bro Tegid and Ysgol y Berwyn, whose pupils will go to the new all-through learning facility, both sent letters to Gwynedd Council announcing their desire not to work with the Church in Wales.

The council cabinet, which met to discuss the plans in February 2017, also noted that a petition handed to the council had over 1,000 signatures suggesting there was “unease” in the community about the new super school having a religious aspect.

If the Cabinet supports this new recommendation to establish a ‘community status’ school, with little or no church affiliation, the council will proceed to the next stage of the statutory process, namely the publication of statutory notices allowing a period of 28 days to receive any objections.

Following this period any objections received will be submitted in a report to the council’s cabinet for a final decision.

Cllr Gareth Thomas, cabinet member for education, said: “As a council, we are totally focused on ensuring the provision of world-class education for the children and young people of the Berwyn catchment area. The £10.27m investment, jointly funded by Gwynedd Council and the Welsh Government, will ensure that children in the area are educated on a site that provides a 21st century learning environment.”

The director of education and lifelong learning Rosalind Williams for the Diocese of St Asaph said: “The needs of the current and future pupils at the new school are our priority.

"The Diocese of St Asaph wishes to support a way forward that protects the investment of £10m and allows the new school to open as soon as possible so that the children of Bala, Penllyn and the wider community can benefit.”