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Controversial plans to amalgamate two schools put on hold

30 Apr 2024 2 minute read
Ysgol Rhys Prichard and Ysgol Llangadog. Image via Google

Richard Youle, local democracy reporter

Controversial plans to amalgamate two schools’ governing bodies and have one headteacher run them both have been paused.

Carmarthenshire council launched a six-week consultation earlier this month on its proposal to “federate” the two primary schools, Ysgol Rhys Prichard and Ysgol Llangadog, in the north of the county.

The governing body of Ysgol Rhys Prichard campaigned against it, claiming the proposal was a money-saving exercise which wasn’t in the best interests of pupils. It also said staff were very apprehensive, and that the school already had a close working relationship with Ysgol Llangadog.

Dafydd Morgan, chairman of governors at Ysgol Llangadog, said the consultation about federation had come as a surprise.

A report before cabinet on April 29 said the feedback from governors and staff was that there hadn’t been enough informal discussions before the consultation was launched.

Working group

The report recommended stopping the consultation, updating the council’s federation strategy and reviewing its process for council-led federations. These recommendations were approved. A governor working group is to be set up and meetings held with staff from both schools.

Cllr Glynog Davies, cabinet member for education and Welsh language, said he believed federating Ysgol Rhys Prichard and Ysgol Llangadog would be beneficial and would create a “sustainable learning environment” in the area.

He said more informal discussions would take place with the two primaries and that the council’s federation strategy would be updated.

Cllr Alun Lenny, cabinet member for resources, said £9 million had been invested in the two schools in the past three years and that the Plaid-Indepedent-led council was committed to good standards of education in the upper Towy Valley.

Concern about the federation proposal had also been voiced by Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Jonathan Edwards. In a letter to the council he said: “Both schools are presently doing very well and have benefited by financial investment from the local authority.

“Having visited both schools I can attest the facilities in both schools are second to none. There is worry that federating would place additional pressure on staff members who are already under incredible pressure.”

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