AM, Andrew RT Davies, pledges fight to Llancarfan school closure
2:10pm Saturday 16th February 2013 in News
VALE resident and Conservative Assembly Member, Andrew RT Davies, has accused the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council of “attempting to eradicate excellence in education” after controversial plans to close a local primary school emerged. Mr Davies was speaking after attending a meeting at Llancarfan Primary School.
He has joined local Conservative MP, Alun Cairns, in pledging to fight for the school’s future.
Mr Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, said: “Last night’s meeting was packed to the brink with concerned parents, teachers and school governors, all of whom have vowed to fight to save this excellent school.
“I simply cannot understand why the Labour Party running the Vale Council are so hellbent on dumbing down education here. With the news that the future of Llanfair Primary School is also in doubt, it seems bizarre that the cabinet member, Chris Elmore, is trying to close some of the best schools in Wales, never mind the Vale.
“Llancarfan has a full roll of pupils and an extensive waiting- list for those seeking to attend in September.”
Mr Davies attended the meeting of teachers, parents and governors to lend his support to the school’s admissions policy and also to offer support in light of forthcoming proposals from the Vale council allegedly earmarking Llancarfan for closure.
He said: “It is vital that the expertise, energy and spirit that was shown on Thursday night is now harnessed to fight these ludicrous proposals.
Further, the cabinet member responsible for this poor excuse for an education policy, Chris Elmore, should come out and explain on what basis closing one of the best schools in the Vale constitutes a credible strategy.
“The next couple of months will no doubt prove trying, but what this meeting proved is that the community will not allow itself to be bullied by an out-of-touch cabinet and council.
Welsh-medium education in the Vale is popular
WELSH-medium education in the Vale is proving so popular that the council has unveiled proposals to expand one school ahead of schedule.
The Vale of Glamorgan Council will submit a request to the Welsh Government for funds to be released to enable the completion of Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg, Barry, in one single phase.
Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg opened with a nursery and reception class in September 2011. The original plan was to expand the school in separate phases dependent on the rate of growth in the number of pupils. However, the council now plans to accelerate the school’s completion as demand for places at the school continues to increase.
The council will request the release of Welsh Government capital funding from the 21st Century Schools Investment Programme in order to progress this high-priority project.
Vale Council cabinet member of children’s services, Cllr Chris Elmore, said: “The popularity of Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg since its launch in September 2011 has shown there continues to be a growing demand for Welsh-medium education.
Given the rapid growth of the school, rather than extend it in two separate phases as originally planned, we are advocating a fast-track approach to complete the school in one phase, by the financial year 2015, which will deliver a more cost-effective solution.
“This decision demonstrates our commitment to investing in education and delivering a high-standard Welsh-medium education in the Vale.”
The proposal recommends the construction of the new school building behind the existing building, however, the access point for the school would remain the same.
If the proposal is given the go-ahead by the Welsh Government, Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg would be completed by 2015 and offer a capacity for 210 pupils.