Town council opposes school’s move to Welsh-medium despite public support
A town council is opposing plans for the transition of a Machynlleth school to Welsh-medium education.
Machynlleth Town Council has taken the stance after saying it had received ‘not a single letter of support’ for the Welsh language plans at Ysgol Bro Hyddgen.
This is despite a public consultation having found the majority of respondents backing the phased transition from dual-stream to Welsh-medium schooling.
The consultation, involving 440 respondents, found that just over 61 per cent were in favour, 37.5 per cent were against and 1.3 per cent ‘didn’t know’.
But the town council says it has received an ‘unprecedented’ number of letters in opposition and none for. A recent extraordinary council vote on the matter found seven councillors against the changes and one in support.
The council has now written to Powys County Council saying: “We have received an unprecedented number of letters from our community all opposing the change. Not a single letter of support has been received.
“The town council recognises the importance of the promotion of the Welsh language, this should not be at the detriment of choice.”
A report by the Cambrian News says the letter acknowledges the public consultation had met the ‘minimum standards’ but says more efforts should have been made to reach a wider audience.
The concerns raised include a perceived ‘reduction in choice’ and that changes could result in people leaving the town and looking elsewhere for their education needs.
Powys County Council says the proposed changes would not affect any pupils currently taught at the school with the phased approach being introduced year by year, starting with the school’s reception class in September 2022.
Ysgol Bro Hyddgen has around 500 pupils and caters for an age range of 4-19.