Children in Wales are as able as those in England, yet exam results continue to lag behind. A succession of Welsh Labour Ministers in Cardiff Bay have been more concerned with making a name for themselves than bringing about real improvements.
In RCT there is no overall plan at all, just a series of random changes and reactions to local situations rather than a complete look at what is needed across the county as a whole.
Last year the Labour Cabinet changed the catchment area of Y Pant school, causing a great deal of upset amongst parents and pupils who were told they were noe in the Bryncelynnog catchment area. Now they are asking parents of children sent to Bryncelynnog if they want to send them back to Y Pant as they have spare places there.
There are plans for hundreds of new homes in the Beddau area which will mean more demand for places at schools in that area, including Bryncelynnog. When asked how the need for more places would be met the Director said that there would be changes at the other end of the catchment area - in Tonteg and Church Village.
In the Rhondda and Tonyrefail they are creating "through schools" with 3 year olds on the same site as 16 and 18 year olds. They are closing several primary schools and merging them with secondary schools whilst some schools in the Rhondda will have their sixth forms removed. The Cabinet Member for Education gets a new school built in her ward -the second one that has been built there.
Mike Powell, Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly candidate for Pontypridd supported parents in their fight against the plans. He says
"The Director and Cabinet claim that through schools will give pupils the best possible education, but if it is as good as they claim then why not do it all across RCT? Or maybe that is their plan, they just haven't come clean and told everyone yet.
"As for the catchment area changes, they cannot simply keep moving the problem along across the county. What happens when they reach the end? Do the then start putting the changes in reverse?
Labour, in RCT and the Assembly, are risking our children's future."
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