Consistent inconsistency

I knew that Jonathan Morgan, the Tory MP for Cardiff North, was unhappy with the decision to reorganize schools in the Whitchurch area of Cardiff from Twitter:

I am shocked that Labour ministers have deserted the people of Whitchurch with their support of schools reorganisation plan.

WAG decision to back school changes in Whitchurch no benefit to English or Welsh medium schools. Labour don't deserve to govern after May.

Wondering if WAG open to judicial review on Whitchurch schools - inconsistent with Canton decision. One rule for them another for Whitchurch.

Following on from that, there is a rather garbled story in today's South Wales Echo, which somehow manages to claim that four primary schools will be closed by the decision.

But Jonathan Morgan is just going off on one without giving much thought to what he's saying. He claims that:

The issues there reflect the issues facing Whitchurch yet the minister has taken a decision which is inconsistent with his decision in the west of Cardiff.

In fact education minister Leighton Andrews refused to make the decision not to allow Treganna to move to the Lansdowne building: he transferred the decision to Carwyn Jones. Yet that detail aside, the problem is not that the Whitchurch decision is inconsistent with the Canton decision, but that the Canton decision was inconsistent with the Welsh Government's stated policies. Mr Morgan simply wants one wrong decision to become a precedent for another wrong decision.

As for his idea that the Whitchurch decision had:

completely deserted local families

He is rather ignoring the fact that there simply isn't enough demand from local families to support both Eglwys Wen and Eglwys Newydd at their current size. A large number of children going to these schools are not from local families, but from families outside their catchment areas. As we can see from the figures here, only 205 out of 326 at Eglwys Newydd and 158 out of 280 at Eglwys Wen were from the two catchment areas combined. This means that 237 children going to these schools were not from local families at all.

Update, 5 February 2011

I can't find a direct link to the decision letter, but I've embedded the Guardian's version from this page.


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MH said...

I've just seen that the South Wales Echo has corrected its mistake.

Anonymous said...

The same set of Cardiff Council statistics show that only 240 of 326 children attending Ysgol Melin Gruffydd are from its catchment area but I'm sure parents would dispute this. It just goes to show that you can't believe everything the council tells you.

MH said...

Yes, that's what the figures are, Anon. But why would you or anyone else not believe them?

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