Local AM Keith Davies and MP Nia Griffith have taken the concerns of families seeking better school facilities in Burry Port to the Director of Education in Carmarthen.
In a meeting this week, Mr Davies and Ms Griffith were joined by local County Councillors John James, Shirley Matthews and Hugh Shepardson as well as Cllr Moira Thomas, Deputy Mayor of Burry Port and school governor.
Demand for Welsh language medium education in the seaside town has grown significantly in recent years, with further housing developments planned, both Mr Davies and Ms Griffith fear that families may be forced to send their children outside of their community if urgent action isn’t taken.
Keith Davies AM said:
There is an urgent need now for a new school premises at Ysgol Parc Y Tywyn. Having met parents at the site in the spring and seeing for myself the cramped conditions and reliance on portakabins to deliver education, it is time for the council to prioritise Parc Y Tywyn.
There is an economic and environmental argument also for providing a new school building
commented Mr Davies.
The cost of maintaining and heating temporary buildings is considerably higher than a new, modern build. I will be raising my concerns with the Minister for Education, Leighton Andrews and pressing him specifically on ensuring that Welsh Labour Government policy on Welsh medium education is being delivered in Carmarthenshire and that there is adequate funding to support it.
Nia Griffith MP said:
A number of families faced the prospect of appealing a decision to turn their children away from attending this school because of the shortage of space. The facts are simple, there is a shortage of Welsh language medium places in Burry Port and Pembrey – with adjacent schools in Kidwelly and Furnace also at full capacity.
It is totally unrealistic to expect parents to ferry children to either of those other schools and I believe that parents in Burry Port should have the choice of either English or Welsh medium education and should be able to send their children to a Welsh language school within their own community.
The Director for Education, Rob Sully accepted that there had been a massive growth in housing and population within the catchment area for Ysgol Parc Y Tywyn resulting in additional interest in places at the school. During the meeting, he confirmed that his department was giving serious consideration to securing support for the renewal of buildings at the school.