Yet more demand for WM education in Llanelli

Sir Gâr is an exasperating council, particularly when it comes to Welsh-medium education. They seem absolutely determined to make a pig's ear secondary school reorganization, as was in the news again today. But it was a story about another school that caught my eye:

     Our school's been lost in translation – Llanelli Star, 18 May 2011

Ysgol y Felin is a dual stream school in Felinfoel, on the outskirts of Llanelli. It seems that the LEA have just taken the decision that the intake this coming September will be entirely Welsh-medium, although children already in the English-medium stream will continue to be taught in English for the remainder of their time there. In seven years, the school will be entirely Welsh-medium.

This should not cause any real problems for any parents who want their children to have an English-medium in the area, for there are two other schools very close by. Dafen School is only 600m away in one direction, and Swiss Valley School only 1.2km away in the other direction.

     

As it happens, this local authority did exactly the same thing a couple of years ago in Trimsaran, as I mentioned in this post at the time. It's a very good way of increasing WM provision without having to go through the trauma of closing EM schools and then re-opening them as WM schools. No child's education is disrupted in any way, and the local community does not lose a valuable resource.

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But although the decision is good, the way it has been handled is most definitely not the way any council should do things. Reading the story in the Star, it would appear that this is an out of the blue decision, but in fact it has been on the cards for some years. If we read this document from 2009, we can see that redesignating the school was one of the options available.

There is nothing that I can find on the council's website to either announce or explain the decision. Even the headteacher hasn't been told all the details. But I think it's safe to guess that the council suddenly realized it had a problem when admission applications were received in February, because they again showed that the demand for WM education was much greater than they had planned for. This has been the case for the last few years, but the options for simply adding more additional temporary accommodation have run out.

They have already planned to increase the size of the new Ysgol Ffwrnais from 1FE to 2FE, and a new 1FE Ysgol Brynsierfel is also due to open this coming September. This should give people some idea of how quickly the demand for WM places is rising.

It seems obvious to me that the Labour/Independent council could and should have been much more proactive in increasing WM provision in and around Llanelli. But they keep failing to do so and therefore find themselves having to react at very short notice. This is not good for anybody concerned.

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1 comments:

Anonymous said...

How do you manage to hear about school reorganisations so quickly? Apart from googling "welsh schools" daily and seeing whats new..

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