Luke Fletcher MS calls upon BCBC to use its powers mandated in the School Admissions Code to ensure that children from Pencoed who wish to access Welsh-medium education, can do so.
After hearing the appeals of families wishing to send their children to Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Ogwr had failed, the Member for South Wales West highlighted that under the school admissions code, point 3.5 states that local authorities have the right to change the number of pupils accepted into a school if there are plans in place to expand the provision of education, as is the case with Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Ogwr.
Local resident, Catrin Davies said “I am extremely disappointed with this outcome, it has put our family in a difficult position. We are being denied access to our local Welsh-medium school. Billy is 4 years old and is being used by BCBC to fill undersubscribed Welsh schools in other areas to support their funding, this is not his responsibility. An English-medium school is now our only choice. I urge the council to reconsider our case under point 3.5, we have been told by the school that increasing the class size by one will not be detrimental and given publicised plans to increase Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Ogwr in the near term, the criteria has been met.”
Support group Rhieni Dros Addysg Gymraeg stated that “Bridgend Council needs to be pressed to justify raising parents' hopes by declaring new provision on one hand and the stubbornness to fail to use part of the School Admissions Code that is there to help them in situations like this. Pressure needs to be put on the Minister to insist that Bridgend increases Welsh-medium education within communities and that the choice for Welsh-medium education is equal.”
Luke Fletcher MS commented “I am calling on BCBC to use its powers to ensure that children who wish to access Welsh-medium education at Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Ogwr, can do so. Parents should not have to send their children further afield or choose English-medium education.”
“If the County is to make its targets as part of the 2050 strategy, the Council must act now to allow every generation to have equal access to Welsh-medium education. I will be in contact with the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language to pursue this issue.”
The South Wales West MS and Pencoed resident has also called on the Welsh Government Minister for Education and the Welsh Language to intervene.