Dad angry that Welsh speaking school is better than his children’s English school
Richard Evans, local democracy reporter
An angry dad has slammed Denbighshire council by claiming that Welsh-speaking pupils enjoy better school facilities than English-speaking children on the other side of a playground fence.
Rhos Street School and the Welsh-speaking Ysgol Pen Barras in Ruthin are built on the same site on Ffordd Glasdir, but the children are kept apart at break-time.
Both schools opened four years ago costing around £11.2m.
Dad Chris Calvert has a six-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter attending Rhos Street, but says the Welsh-speaking school is better equipped.
While children at Ysgol Pen Barras have a new playground and climbing frame, HGV driver Mr Calvert claims Rhos Street School is built on a flood plain.
The Rhos Street site has now been improved with a slide and playground, but the 45-year-old dad said that is at risk due to the constant floods.
“From the minute the school opened, from the first time I attended to pick my children up, I couldn’t believe the disparity between the two sites, especially the outside play areas,” he said.
“One school has a huge state-of-the-art play area full of brand-new equipment, whereas Rhos Street School is built on a flood plain.
“The new play area should have a natural fall of 20mm per square metre to meet British standards. I don’t think there is a fall of even 8mm there for water to drain. There is not a sufficient slope to allow water to drain.
“Ysgol Pen Barras has got all sorts of outbuildings, play areas, climbing frames – I’m led to believe that was funded by the PTA. We’ve just built a play area, but that’s all we’ve got.
“Everyone I speak to, including the other parents, are in shock from the disparity between the two sites. It’s segregation. The schools are divided by steel fences. The children at Rhos Street are being short-changed massively here.”
‘Nothing but issues’
Mr Calvert says he has complained multiple times to Denbighshire council without the issue being fixed.
In recent weeks, the school’s PTA has installed new play equipment in Rhos Street School playground.
But Mr Calvert fears the money may have been wasted if the ground continues to flood and the tarmac has to be relaid.
“It’s an absolute shambles,” he said. “I’ve spoken to teachers who have said they have had nothing but issues since this school opened.”
A spokesperson for Denbighshire council said: “Following representations, the council installed an additional hardstanding play area for Rhos Street School over the summer of 2021.
“Part of the yard has seen puddles developing which are slow to disperse, and we have been working with contractors to seek a solution to the issue to ensure the yard can be fully used by pupils at the school.”
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