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Former UKIP MS’ attempt to champion village schools ‘disingenuous’ say campaigners

26 Feb 2021 2 minutes Read
Caroline Jones AM, National Assembly for Wales. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic .

Welsh language campaigners have said that an attempt by former UKIP and Brexit Party Senedd Members to champion village schools is “disingenuous”.

Independent Alliance for Reform members have proposed a motion in the Welsh parliament calling on the government to work to maintain smaller schools.

Caroline Jones’ motion says the Welsh Government should “put a halt on the creation of super schools which are detrimental to the learning experience of young people” and “issue guidance to local education authorities to ensure that school pupils do not have to travel more than 15 minutes by car or public transport to attend their nearest school”.

But Cymdeithas yr Iaith, who have long campaigned to retain village schools, branded them “nu-kip” and said that they did not appreciate their intervention, saying they did not have the interest of Wales’ communities at heart.

Campaigner Ffred Ffransis said: “It is their right-wing, open-market policies which have favoured the rich and powerful and have done so much to undermine our rural and post-industrial communities and thereby undermine the sustainability of the schools.

“It is then very disingenuous for them now to express support for the campaign, and their support would alienate many others.

“The simple truth is that the Education Minister has already publicly stated in the Senedd last year that no school had to be closed to ensure funding to develop another school, and that such funding (from the 21st century Schools Fund) was available for new schools, new buildings or to upgrade existing buildings.

“What is needed now is to implement that policy consistently in Gwynedd, Ynys Môn and Carmarthenshire.

“We should ignore parties such as the Brexit Party, UKIP and now Nu-kip as they do not have the interests of the people and communities of Wales at heart.”

 

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