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D-Day for decision on whether to go ahead with Welsh-medium Llangennech school plans

By StarRob  |  Posted: January 13, 2017

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Llangennech School will be discussed at a County Council meeting on Wednesday.

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THE final decision on whether to discontinue Llangennech infant and junior schools and establish Llangennech Community Primary School will be made by Carmarthenshire Council on Wednesday.

A county council meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 18 at 10am, where councillors will vote on whether to go ahead with the controversial plans to change from dual stream — where pupils currently learn in both Welsh and English — to Welsh-medium only.

At the council's latest executive board meeting, members voted to proceed with recommendations to establish a new Welsh-medium school — which would be maintained by the authority at the existing sites and buildings for boys and girls aged three to 11 from September 1. The discontinuation of the infant and junior schools would take place the day before.

READ MORE: Statutory notice to be published for controversial proposed Llangennech school changes

The decision comes despite long-running opposition by many parents — who created the committee Keep Llangennech School Dual Stream.

ABOVE: County Hall, Carmarthen

They were thanked at the meeting by both councillor Pam Palmer and council leader Emlyn Dole for their "politeness" during the process and for the extensive research they carried out to support their case as part of its opposition.

READ MORE: Welsh language row at Llangennech school goes to council

Before the executive board voted to go-ahead with the recommendation, parents again put many questions to the executive board containing their concerns for the future.

The proposal for the change came in response to the 2011 census — which showed the number of Welsh speakers to have fallen below 50 per cent in Carmarthenshire for the first time in history.

The Welsh Government has called for more access to Welsh- medium education and the move is part of Carmarthenshire's response.

ABOVE: Parents of pupils at Llangennech School

Hundreds signed a petition against the move, and protests were held, while vicar Dr John Plessis also expressed "serious concerns" about the plan when speaking to the Star in March — stating he was "very passionate" that the Llanelli village remained united.

The admission number for pupils aged four and five at the new school in the first school year in which the proposals have been implemented would be 60.

The capacity of the school for pupils aged three to 11 if the proposal is implemented would be 461, with 60 nursery places.

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Robert Dalling

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