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Councillors back creation of Welsh medium class for pupils with additional learning needs

22 Mar 2022 3 minutes Read
Image by F1 Digitals from Pixabay

Rhondda Cynon Taf’s cabinet has backed plans to open a Welsh medium learning support class at key stage three and four level at Ysgol Garth Olwg in Church Village for 14 pupils from September this year.

At a meeting yesterday, the cabinet considered the feedback from the consultation which saw 28 out of the 32 respondents say they were in agreement with the proposal, two saying they were not and two who were unsure.

The cabinet report said the responses were “overwhelmingly positive and in favour of the proposal to establish a Welsh medium learning support class at Ysgol Garth Olwg to support pupils with significant additional learning needs”.

The council will now publish a statutory notice on its intention to create the  class and if it’s not called in for consideration by scrutiny, will be published on April 4 and allow for a minimum 28-day period for objections.

Objections

If any objections are received, a report will be prepared which will then be reported to a future meeting of cabinet, in June or July, for members to consider before making a final decision.

Secondary schools hosting learning support classes are funded via the council for one specialist teacher and two learning support assistants at about £112,000 per class.

Funding that is currently provided to Ysgol Garth Olwg to establish a Step 4 provision following the amended proposal in June 2020 will be re-directed to support the establishment of the class, the cabinet report said.

There will be a transportation cost in line with the council’s learner travel policy but this is seen as a necessity in order to enhance provision for RCT’s most vulnerable pupils, the report added. It also said costs cannot be quantified at this time as placements are pupil led.

Councillor Jill Bonetto, the cabinet member for education, said it was good to see an overwhelming positive response to the proposal.

She said it will “increase the opportunities for pupils with significant additional learning needs to study through the medium of Welsh”.

Councillor Maureen Webber, deputy leader of the council, said it’s “absolutely right that we do have a Welsh medium additional learning needs learning support class at Garth Olwg”.

Councillor Pauline Jarman, leader of the Plaid Cymru group on the council, said she was very happy to support the recommendation on this because “there has been a deficit in relation to Welsh medium support services and I’m glad we’re able to bridge the gap by this proposal”.


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