‘Betrayal of the language’: Councillor slams closure of Welsh medium school
A councillor has slammed the closure of a Welsh medium school, branding it a “betrayal” of the “language and culture”.
Cllr Dewi Wyn Roberts, who represents Abersoch, hit out at Gwynedd Council for its decision to shut down Ysgol Gynradd Abersoch in the village, because he says the closure will mean that children will lose their connection with it.
He says the decision by the council also goes against the wishes of the school governors, its teachers, its head teacher, and the pupils.
Though the school has a capacity of 32, it currently only has 8 students, which means 76% of the places are empty.
Gwynedd Council intends to increase the stock of affordable homes in the area, and according to Roberts those school places will be needed if it does so.
He told Golwg360: “I’m very disappointed that [Gwynedd Council] has come to the decision to close the school for a few reasons to tell the truth.
“To being with, it takes away the offer to give the children an education within the village. Quite a bit has been said about this, and that this is being done in the children’s best interest.
“I don’t believe this is best for the children. I don’t think they have been able to present evidence to [show] that.
“There is talk that they did it because the number in the classroom is small, and that there is a mixture of ages in that class.
“But the truth is, what they’re offering instead of that is something similar. There is a mixture of ages in Ysgol Sarn Bach [where the children will be moved] too.
“It is an incredibly important resource, we’re still in a pandemic, and we don’t know what the future is going to be and what is on the horizon.
“I think it’s a silly time to make a decision like this and lose the educational resource within the area.”
“There is a betrayal here of the language and culture.
“Historically, the school is at the heart of the village. I understand that it’s a small school and I understand that there are cost attached to that.
“There is a cost to the Wels culture and the Welsh language, to children’s education, to parents’ choice of where they receive education. They [the council] is stealing that.”