Pupils left without school

22nd January 1999 at 00:00
More than 100 children in the Vale of Glamorgan still have no secondary school to go to in September because the council has not provided for Welsh language secondary education, say parents.

In the past, children transferred from the four Welsh- medium primary schools in Penarth, Barry and Cowbridge to the two Welsh-medium secondary schools in Cardiff, all of which were covered by the local authority of South Glamorgan.

But the 1996 local government reorganisation that replaced South Glamorgan with two councils - Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan - and rising demand for Welsh-medium education mean that the Cardiff schools no longer have room for the new Vale children.

As it is, Cardiff faces an expected rise from 260 to 400 in the annual intake of its Welsh- medium secondary schools over the next two or three years from within it own boundaries.

Vale of Glamorgan council said, on its creation, that it would set up its own Welsh-language secondary, if it could find the money. It has since investigated two separate sites that might have attracted development under the Private Finance Initiative but has not yet got a viable scheme.

Last autumn, it appealed to Cardiff to take the 128 pupils from the Vale for just one year while it sorted out a long-term solution but this was refused after consultation with the schools because of the disruption and extra capital costs.

On Tuesday Alun Davies, Vale of Glamorgan's director of education, told the parents the county would continue to work with them and with governors and heads to find a solution to the problem.

"We have very difficult capital constraints," he told The TES. "Options will be put to the education committee at the end of the month.

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