A CONSULTATION on proposals to close two Torfaen secondary schools is set to begin so families can have their say.

There are plans to close Llantarnam School and Fairwater High School and a £6 million investment from Torfaen’s 21st Century Schools programme to refurbish the current Fairwater site, which could reopen in September 2015.

There would also be a review of the Fairwater, Llantarnam and Croesyceiliog catchment areas.

Torfaen council said closing Fairwater and Llantarnam schools and creating a single secondary school should help tackle the issue of surplus places for both schools, in line with the Welsh Government target of no more than 15 per cent surplus places.

The capacity of Fairwater School is 1,312 and it currently has 717 pupils, which is predicted to drop to 548 in September 2015.

For Llantarnam School, the capacity is 1,475, with 1,003 pupils currently attending. Figures are forecast to fall to 770 by 2015.

Based on current projections, a new school opening in September 2015 would have 1,318 pupils.

Fairwater School is proposed as the most suitable site because of its more central location. It is assumed the current sixth form provision will remain, although there are on-going discussions with Coleg Gwent and Welsh Government on the future of post-16 education in Torfaen.

The executive member for children and young people, Councillor Brian Mawby, said: “This is a hugely significant proposal which will fundamentally reshape the future of secondary education in Torfaen.”

The consultation will run between February 17 and March 31.