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Dad angry that Welsh speaking school is better than his children’s English school

04 Feb 2022 3 minute read
Chris Calvert is angry childern at Rhos Street Shool have a playground he says is unfit for purpose.

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.

Rhos Street School playground as it is now.

“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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Ed Jones
Ed Jones
7 months ago

A few solutions for this ‘angry dad’ – (1) encourage your children to speak Welsh, they do live in Wales after all, if not too proficient yourself, there would be plenty of classes for you too, (2) encourage the PTA of Rhos Street School to replicate that of Ysgol Pen Barras, & (3) learn what the word ‘segregation’ actually means…

Grayham Jones
7 months ago
Reply to  Ed Jones

Very true

Enwog
Enwog
7 months ago
Reply to  Ed Jones

Well said

Wendy w Williams
7 months ago
Reply to  Ed Jones

What is he ranting about.Why pay for 2 different schools they should be united.Youre in wales for god sakes.Why should thre be english and welsh.Send your kids to the welsh school thennif u have a problem…..simples not rocket science

Grayham Jones
7 months ago

If he’s not happy cross the border into England no English schools in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 he is probably a incomer all schools in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 must welsh

Carol Loughlin
Carol Loughlin
7 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

*Wales

Richard
Richard
7 months ago
Reply to  Carol Loughlin

Please stop trolling Grayham and focus on your own thoughts which will add to debate and conversation. 🙏

defaid
defaid
7 months ago
Reply to  Carol Loughlin

carol, please leave grayham alone.

Dafydd
Dafydd
7 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Im convinced Graham is not Welsh – never uses capital letters for Wales but always uses capitals for England. In fact Graham may be software of some sort…never responds to my messages on this subject.

Richard
Richard
7 months ago
Reply to  Dafydd

I think in all forums the range of views add to its content and validity. We all or almost all offer views with thought and sincerity. Grayham provides a constant anchor; with a recurring set of views and a compass set in confidence and security of purpose. He speaks for the experiences of many in Wales through what might appear as simplistic and uncomplecated set of thoughts… 1. That Wales needs to be a more self confident as a Nation. 2. That we need more Wales based national media outlets 3. That many in positions of power and who claim… Read more »

John evans
John evans
7 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

So does that mean the Welsh school in London would have to close also?

Erisian
Erisian
7 months ago

I think the key words here are ‘funded by the PTA’.
It’s a disgrace that schools don’t have enough funding, but perhaps there is simply more community spirit among the parents of Ysgol Pen Barras. I doubt they have deeper pockets. Maybe there is something else that unites them?

Gareth Plas
Gareth Plas
7 months ago

Rhuthun…..not Ruthin
Relaid, not relayed.
and it’s a 20mm fall for the water, not a 20 ml….
Come on Nation Cymru.

Last edited 7 months ago by Gareth Plas
Brian Thomas
Brian Thomas
7 months ago

As others have said PTA funded. Secondly why nor send your young child to Ysgol Pen Baras. The name alone should make you realise how good it is and obviously parents who care deeply about their children. What’s not to like. Go on you know it makes sense. Be brave.

Gareth Thomas
Gareth Thomas
7 months ago

That’s a misleading headline. He’s not saying it’s a better school, he’s saying they have better facilities. Not the same thing

Richard
Richard
7 months ago
Reply to  Gareth Thomas

Very True Gareth 😊. A keen legal mind 😀

Llefain
Llefain
7 months ago

So he deprives his children of being bilingual and all the benefits that come with that AND of having a better play area during their breaks, due to a more active and able PTA because…

I’d simply move my kids to the other school rather than complain about the situation I actively chose to put and keep them in for no defensible reason.
Or, he could join the PTA and lead the same level of fundraising etc. and solve maybe two of the three disadvantages he chose to give his kids. Weird misdirected anger. Needs a mirror.

Last edited 7 months ago by Llefain
Enwog
Enwog
7 months ago
Reply to  Llefain

Spot on.

David Thomas
7 months ago

Not only do those kids over the fence have a nicer playground, but they also have another language in which to live, work and daydream.

Playground equipment is the least of that parent’s problems.

Kurt C
Kurt C
7 months ago

Comparing to another school on PTA funded projects is stupid. Not that a PTA should fund anything. Petition to rid schools of fund raising, then complaint has validity. Until then work with your kids school and PTA to try to get improvements, not be envious of others.

Richard
Richard
7 months ago

The floods at Rhuthun are long standing – nothing to do at all with the towns schools.
This gent may best be advised to contact the education portfolio holder – who as luck would have it is a Rhuthun member.

He might also ask him who voted for the new housing develooments etc on the flood plain next to the river ?

CJPh
CJPh
7 months ago

Regardless of this man’s opinions and choices (which I disagree with) may I suggest that Nation remove his picture – he is a private citizen, a working parent with whom some of us disagree. Not a public figure worth running the risk of unintentional doxxing, Nation. This publication mostly stands on the principle of being an independent news voice for the people of Cymru – slip ups like this undermine that, suggesting that demonisation of those who don’t think the same way we do is legitimate. It simply isn’t, it’s utterly shameful. Please remove his picture.

Richard
Richard
7 months ago
Reply to  CJPh

Chwarae teg / fair play
syniad da / a good point

CJPh
CJPh
7 months ago
Reply to  Richard

Further, the article mentions the school hia children attend as well as their ages. Mochyndra llwyr. This is the exact sort of divisive nonsense that keeps support for our independence lower than it could be.

Richard
Richard
7 months ago
Reply to  CJPh

Agreed

Steve Evans
Steve Evans
7 months ago

When my children were in Welsh medium secondary school they often encountered protests because the school was on an estate and the local English medium school on that estate had been closed down while money seemed to be pouring in to new developments on the site of the Welsh medium school.
Valid points, except that their children probably didn’t have to endure a 9 mile round trip to get to their nearest primary school, and a round trip of about 40 miles to go to secondary school, which is what my children did every school day for 7 years.

Wendy w Williams
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve Evans

Again youre in wales.how many times should i remind u

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 months ago

I’d say to Chris Calvert is this. Don’t criticise the Welsh medium school for it’s facilities. Point the finger elsewhere. And rather than be divisive encourage your son and others to be bilingual that will not only open up more opportunities, but will give him & them a better foundation in life.

Gareth Cemlyn Jones
Gareth Cemlyn Jones
7 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Pwyntiau da iawn!

Sandra Perez
Sandra Perez
7 months ago

My daughter is 10 years old, she’s a native Spanish speaker, she began to learn English and Welsh at the same time just 5 month ago. We’re temporally in Wales (I guess). I can’t not understand why some parents are reluctant to allow their kids to learn Welsh, my daughter is enjoying the challenge. To learn a language is not only about learning a new way to speak, it’s also about understand other people’s culture and about recognize that there are different ways to see the world. Kid’s brains are not going to be destroy for learning another language, on… Read more »

Sian
Sian
7 months ago
Reply to  Sandra Perez

Beautifully put Sandra Perez. Diolch. Gracias.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
7 months ago
Reply to  Sian

Muy buen, gracias

Darren Christian
Darren Christian
7 months ago

I am not a Welsh speaker . But my parents were fluent only in Welsh until 15 . .UNTIL migrants and the anglicised Welsh complained. . and Llanfair Caerinion etc in Mid Wales after busy body’s like this individual stoPPed them being Welsh speaking . . Be grateful got an English speaking school . I was deprived of Welsh language upbringing due to interfering people?

Darren Christian
Darren Christian
7 months ago

Just like to add ,I was offered Welsh as child by my parens but not forced into because we lived in Newtown , and no Welsh medium schools . I refused as I didn’t understand the reasoning . , Only my father was Welsh speaker . Meant mother could get by . Sorry . Really don’t care much for people trying to change anything of our culture . Lucky you aren’t made to wear an English knot eh

Jay
Jay
7 months ago

My children are fluent Welsh speakers, but they have come to loathe the small-minded nationalists and their xenophobic attitudes (after all, their father is English and their mother is just not damn Welsh enough). They laugh at Cofiwch Drwyeryn and anything Welsh seems small, parochial and sub-par. But I tell them to keep in with learning their Welsh. I expect them to get GCSE grade A’s. I say, ‘You stick with the language, get your degree and you bloody cash in on that linguistic apartheid that they have in North Wales. You’ve got a job for life if you stick… Read more »

CapM
CapM
7 months ago
Reply to  Jay

Wow you’ve got a royal flush there.
Are you sure you’re not pulling cards out of your sleeve!

Jay
Jay
7 months ago
Reply to  CapM

You would think so, but no. Straight up.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
7 months ago

As a non parent, can anybody explain to me why the two schools on the same site, acording to the article, have separate playgrounds? Surely it would make sense for the children to mix and not been kept in language bunkers.

Hywel Davies
Hywel Davies
7 months ago

So there’s an English-medium school in Dyffryn Clwyd? That’s the first problem right there! Should be one school for all the kids, with decent facilities, and it should be Welsh medium – if we can’t have Welsh schools in Wales, nowhere else on earth is going to provide them for us

Penderyn
Penderyn
7 months ago

I went to that school. Taught two Welsh lessons in 6 years…disgrace

Rhuthun was made English only speaking by these English only schools….theres also a body of self hating Welsh in that town too

I went to Stryd y Rhos……it was more English in teaching than England’s schools…..

James
James
7 months ago

We have the same problem in South Wales. It’s all been done on purpose. It’s doesnt matter how many kids speak Welsh, the English language is engrained in our society. You only have to go to eastern Europe where they spoke Russian. Ther chosen language is now English. Get over it.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
7 months ago
Reply to  James

Chosen language in Estonia is Eeste. Poland, Polska, etc. You must mean second?

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