Dylan Thomas community school in Swansea serves a deprived area, has two specialist teaching facilities for pupils with special educational needs, and educates a large number of asylum-seeker children. It is a school which is valued by the parents of its pupils.
The proposals to close the school have met with fierce opposition from its parents, staff and governors. It was commended by inspection agency Estyn following its inspection in April 2004. The staff of the school are highly respected locally for their expertise and commitment.
Comparisons with schools in England are very questionable. Figures for five A*-C grade GCSE passes are often based on four IT-based qualifications and one other pass. Their value is increasingly being brought under scrutiny.
The culture of failing and closing schools in England is equally suspect.
Increased privatisation and selection is also likely to harm the opportunities of many pupils in England.
The success of staff and pupils at Dylan Thomas should be recognised and celebrated.
Additional resources should be provided to develop a spiral of accelerating achievement.
An end to the closure proposals and clear statements supporting the future of the school would be a good first step towards ensuring the pupils'
potential be fulfilled.
David Browell Divisional secretary National Union of Teachers Cymru Glan Yr Afon Road, Swansea