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Fight will continue over Rhondda schools reorganisation

The Labour Cabinet in RCT have voted to push ahead with proposals to close several primary schools in the Rhondda and Tonyrefail , remove 6th forms from three secondary schools and create a range 3 - 16, 3 -18 and 11 - 16 schools.

RCT Welsh Liberal Democrat Campaign Manager Karen Roberts is Vice Chair of governors at one of the affected schools and has been co-ordinating the campaign against the proposals. She says the Cabinet decision is far from the end of the matter and the campaign will go n.

"The Cabinet decision has to be endorsed by the Education Minister. The Council now have to issue a 'statutory notice' and refer the matter to the Welsh Government. People have the chance to put objections forward and we will indeed be doing just that.

"We accept the fact that there is a need to deal with surplus places and that financial aspects have to come into consideration at some point. However putting 3 year olds into a school with much older teenagers is not the answer.

"Neither is the seemingly random decision to remove sixth forms from three schools in the Rhondda and spread them out to the furthest reaches of the area in question.

"If 3 to 16 education is as beneficial as the Director claims for those pupils in the schools involved then it is of benefit to all pupils and should involve every school. If it is such a benefit then why isn't the Labour Education Minister espousing it? Why isn't it good for every child in Wales?

"Why wasn't the decision taken to press ahead with it at Mountain Ash - after all if the educational benefits are so great then surely other issues could have been overcome.

"A substantial amount of money is being spent on expanding Y Pant - if all through schools are so great why isn't that being developed into one? £50 million was spent on a new super secondary school in Aberdare. If through schooling is so advantageous why isn't that a 3 to 19 school?

"The proposal is unfair and unequal and no evidence has been put forward that says it is of educational benefit."