Council leaders approve school’s foundation phase switch to Welsh medium
Richard Youle, local democracy reporter
Council leaders have approved a school’s switch to Welsh medium for the foundation phase.
Welsh language education will apply at Ysgol Y Felin, Llanelli, at the foundation phase from the start of the 2022-23 academic year, subject to full council approval. However, dual stream education would remain from key stage two.
Meanwhile, Ysgol Rhydygors Special School, Johnstown, Carmarthen, will be discontinued as of August 31 this year, again subject to council approval.
Pupils at the special school would continue to be educated at a pupil referral unit at the site.
Cllr Glynog Davies, cabinet member for education and children, said pupils at Ysgol Rhydygors often had no mainstream school experience up to the age of 16.
“It is time for change,” he said.
The other change agreed by cabinet at a meeting on February 28 was to lower the entry age at Swiss Valley Primary School, on the outskirts of Llanelli, from four to three.
Cllr Davies said the language change proposed at Ysgol Y Felin followed “thorough and essential” preparation work, in accordance with the relevant guidelines.
There were four objections during a consultation about the proposal, which would affect three to seven-year-olds.
Cllr Davies said the administration supported youngsters being able to read, write and speak Welsh by the end of primary school.
Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths noted the fact there were only four objections, and said the issues raised were common when language provision changed.
There were past examples, he said, of objectors being happy with the new provision when they understood how it worked.
The changes planned at Ysgol Rhydygors include a wider overhaul of the council’s behaviour support services.
“We want to improve the service – that’s the the aim,” said Cllr Davies.
There were no objections to the plans, which include establishing a children’s home/respite centre – as well as the pupil referral unit – on September 1 at the Llansteffan Road site.
There were also no objections to the Swiss Valley Community Primary entry age proposal. Again, full council approval is required.
Cllr Davies said the change from four years old to three would bring the school in line with other primaries in the area.
He added: “Equal (age) provision across the county would be ideal – that’s what I would like to see as well.”
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