School closure controversy

April 14, 2006 ,

AFTER months of unnecessary delays the council executive have finally published their proposals for restructuring locals schools, proposals which could hardly be more controversial.

A number of very good schools have been earmarked for closure, whilst others which are already full are to be expanded to accommodate more pupils.
People are naturally concerned about the about the implications of these proposals on their childrens’ education.

Before any of these plans can be considered for implementation there must be a very thorough scrutiny of the details.
That is why it is extremely damaging that the publication of these plans was held up by the Liberal Democrat council executive, on the flimsiest of excuses, in an attempt to delay the announcement until after the next council elections.

They cannot therefore proceed without allowing enough time to examine many important questions in detail.

What criteria has been used to decide which schools will close?
What role has party politics has played a part in shaping these proposals?
What alternative proposals were considered, and why were they rejected?

What account will be taken of the views of parents, pupils and teachers in the consultation process?
Will elected representatives on the council be given a full opportunity to scrutinise these proposals through the Scrutiny Committee system?

In responding to the challenge ahead there should be only one consideration; how to deliver the best education for the young people of Cardiff.

As such I will be demanding that as part of the consultation process the council executive address the concerns many parents have, clearly stating what they propose to do to protect the educational welfare of pupils at schools due to close, and ultimately how these proposals will benefit the children, their families and their communities.