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Disgrace of Labour's Plans to Close Schools Sixth Forms

November 11, 2009 2:45 AM

Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell has reacted angrily to the announcement that RCT Council is considering replacing sixth forms with tertiary colleges.

"This is contrary to everything They have been told by Schools, Governors, pupils and parents. Not only are schools perfectly placed to provide post sixteen education in a caring environment in which the majority of students flourish, but those students enrich the whole school experience for younger pupils.

Secondary schools have worked extremely hard to put in place joint working arrangements to ensure students have as wide a choice of educational and vocational opportunities as possible. They have also taken on board the community dimension of schools.

Indeed the report that has been produced by the Education department states that there have been improvements in attitudes to learning and GCSE results, with increased participation in out of school activities helping pupils to gain greater self confidence and esteem.

So why the push by the Labour Cabinet to change it?"

Cllr Powell, who is the Parliamentary candidate for Pontypridd, is a Governor at Hawthorn High School, and is concerned not only at the likely outcomes of these plans, but at the way they have been announced.

On the very day the news appeared in the local press, Cllr Eudine Hanagan, Cabinet Member for Education, sent an emailed letter to all Councillors with 'supplementary information to the report that will be considered by the Cabinet at its special meeting on18th November.'

Cllr Powell suggests she should have had a word with her Officers first.

"On the same day an email was sent out from a senior Education official to Secondary School heads. Attached was a newsletter for parents, in which it was stated that 'the preferred options of 3 and 4 were selected at this month's Cabinet meeting.'

It would seem that the meeting on the 18th is a sham, and that the decision has already been made.

The report states that there will be school closures as a result of the plans, with a high possibility that Tonyrefail - where the Cabinet Member is herself a Governor - may be one of them.

Yet again it seems that the Labour administration is intent to ride roughshod over the opinions of the people they are supposed to represent, and engage in so called consultation when they have clearly made up their minds. It is disgusting, and I for one won't be taking it lying down."