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Campaigners call for the protection of Welsh medium education provision in north Pontypridd

Aug 5, 2019

Campaigners representing parents in Pontypridd are calling on RCT Council to reconsider their plans for the reorganisation of Welsh-medium education in Pontypridd.

Campaigners representing parents in Pontypridd are calling on RCT Council to reconsider their plans for the reorganisation of Welsh-medium education in Pontypridd.

The group 'Parents Fighting for Welsh Medium Education in North Pontypridd' was established following a public meeting held at Clwb y Bont last week, which was held to discuss the Council's proposals to close Ysgol Pont Siôn Norton and Ysgol Heol-y-Celyn and build a brand new school on the existing Heol-y-Celyn site.

Parent and campaigner, Sian-Eleri Fudge, said, "We are fighting for local Welsh medium education for our children. The current proposal will deprive areas of north Pontypridd, including the communities of Ynysybwl, Glyncoch, Coedycwm, Trallwng and Cilfynydd, of Welsh-medium education locally. It is very important for us as parents, that our children receive a Welsh-medium education in the community where they live.

"We believe that this development will be detrimental to Welsh medium education because more parents will choose English medium education in the future, for the simple reason that their children will have to travel so far. This is unacceptable, especially now given the Welsh Government's target of creating a million Welsh speakers by 2050.

"We urge the Council, for the future of the Welsh language in north Pontypridd, to reconsider their recommendation to relocate the children from the north of the town to Rhydyfelin, and look for a suitable location for a second new Welsh medium school that will be more suitable for the existing pupils of Ysgol Pont Siôn Norton."

Helen Prosser added on behalf of RhAG RhCT, "RhAG welcomes this long-awaited investment in Welsh medium education, but we have concerns about the current recommendations.

"While welcoming the increase in capacity; accessibility and unrestricted access are equally important to any new provision. The Welsh Government's policy places an emphasis on increasing access to Welsh-medium early years and primary provision in the child's community.

"As the plans for the Heol y Celyn site are still in the formative stages, we urge the Council to give serious consideration to the most suitable location for opening a Welsh-medium school in the area. Is there any possibility of building in a more central location for all the children that the new school will serve? Or, could a little less be spent on the new school and consideration given to opening a Welsh medium nursery class in another school so that a new Welsh medium school grows organically in another area of Pontypridd?

"The Council's Welsh in Education Strategic Plan states that it is intended to create 6,054 additional Welsh speakers within the county by 2021. It is also said that the Welsh Government notes the crucial role of the education system. This is a very commendable target, but we do not see how depriving important communities in Pontypridd from a Welsh-medium school is going to help achieve this target."



Consultation: https://www.rctcbc.gov.uk/EN/GetInvolved/Consultations/SchoolConsultations/SchoolsConsultations.aspx

Facebook group 'Parents Fighting For Local Welsh Education in North Pontypridd' https://www.facebook.com/groups/269801827220655/

RhAG is a national organisation which represents and supports parents who want their children to be educated through the medium of Welsh www.rhag.cymru

For more information please contact Ceri McEvoy, RhAG Director of Development on 07912175403 or ceri@rhag.cymru