In what is a very unusual occurrence in RCT the Council appear to have given in to public pressure and had a change of heart over its plans to close Caegarw Primary School and create a 3 to 19 school at Mountain Ash Comprehensive.
A report being put to Cabinet on the 16th September, and which is almost certain to be accepted, recommends that no statutory notice to close the school be issued.
This is excellent news for pupils and parents, and will be welcomed by many who oppose the idea of through 3 to 19 schools. We have already expressed concern that this would have been just the start.
However, it would appear from the report that the Director is not altogether convinced by the arguments put forward. Indeed it seems that this one of those very rare occasions in this Labour controlled Council when political direction may have come to the fore and Members influenced the decision.
He states in the report
"In my view, this proposal is one of the best the Council has put forward in terms of improving educational outcomes and representing value for money. There is nothing that has been raised during the consultation that changes my view."
The rest of the report is totally out of kilter with the recommendation not to proceed with a statutory notice of closure, and it appears that the Education Director may not be altogether convinced.
This is of course the same person who wanted to remove post 16 students from schools and introduce 6th form colleges across the Borough. That proposal was put on the back burner when it became clear that the Welsh Government would not support it.
A report being put to Cabinet