Controversial super-school scrapped after protests

time:2023-06-02 17:32:12source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:Press center4

Controversial plans for an English language super-school have been scrapped after protests.

The scheme would have seen three English-medium primaries closed with pupils moving to the new school in Pontardawe, Neath Port Talbot.

It was initially approved by the council, and would have included a pool and specialist learning centre.

After Parents for Welsh Education (RhAG) secured a judicial review, the court decided the project was unlawful.

That was because the council had not considered the impact on the Welsh language.

The council then presented a new consultation, asking to shut Alltwen, Godre'r Graig and Llangiwg primary schools.

There had been fears parents would choose to send their children to the new school rather than the local Welsh-medium school in Pontardawe.

RhAG director Elin Maher called it "a great day".

"Many campaigners have worked very hard over the past few years in order to get to this place," she said.

The cost of the proposed school was believed to be more than £22m.

It would have taught about 770 pupils from the age of three to 11.

Rachel Jones, who has three sons at Alltwen Primary School, said she felt "emotional" upon hearing the news.

She said: "It's been such a long time coming. We have fought so long and hard, and I am so relieved that democracy has won."

Neath Port Talbot council deputy leader Alun Llewelyn said: "It was important we listened to the feelings in the communities around the schools, the parents, and governors and pupils.

"We decided after a long discussion, and cabinet voted unanimously, that we would not proceed."

He said the council wanted to see what future there was for the community schools and that there was "a lot of work to do".

The Welsh government declined to comment.

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