Newport parents ‘happy’ in mealtimes debate

PARENTS of children with autism at a Welsh-language school are happy for their children to eat separately at lunchtimes, despite reports that pupils are being segregated due to language issues.

Last week it was reported that children at the Brynglas autism unit, which was previously part of the English speaking Brynglas Primary School but is now part of Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Teyrnon, were eating lunch in their own classrooms, rather than with other pupils.

Following the move from an English to a Welsh speaking school, to become a satellite unit of Maes Ebbw School, parents were asked for their opinion on whether they were happy for their children to eat separately on the basis that Bro Teyrnon pupils are encouraged to speak Welsh at all times.

The majority were happy with the situation, said a spokeswoman for Newport council, and the well-being of the children is “of paramount importance” to the authority.

Last week the Argus reported that Newport councillor David Fouweather challenged the separation and described it as “cruel”.

But a joint statement from Maes Ebbw School and Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Teyrnon regarding the lunchtime arrangements said the decision was made because children in Bro Teyrnon are encouraged to speak Welsh at all times, including at break times.

“During the autumn term it was suggested that they could use the hall for lunch after Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Teyrnon pupils, but the majority of parents at that time preferred the status quo,” said the statement.

“Parents are able to discuss any concerns with the schools and changes could be made in future if that is their wish.

“Teachers at the centre have not reported any negative impact or deterioration in behaviour since the new arrangements began.”

A spokeswoman from the National Autistic Society Cymru said autism affects how a person communicates and relates to other people and how they make sense of the world around them.

“Children and adults with autism prefer routine so that they know what is going to happen to them,” she said.

“People with autism quite often find it extremely difficult to cope with disruption and will take time to adapt.”

Comments (3)

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3:34pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Michael Weedall says...

Last week the Argus reported that Newport councillor David Fouweather challenged the separation and described it as “cruel”. This man or many other people did not know the full story and yet again blamed the Welsh Language. And I said it was down to the Autistic children and their parents agreeing what was best. The SWA and the councillor said things that was not true and did not have a clue.
Last week the Argus reported that Newport councillor David Fouweather challenged the separation and described it as “cruel”. This man or many other people did not know the full story and yet again blamed the Welsh Language. And I said it was down to the Autistic children and their parents agreeing what was best. The SWA and the councillor said things that was not true and did not have a clue. Michael Weedall

12:32am Wed 4 Dec 13

Mwy Eira says...

Both the councillor and the SWA should apologise to the school. Does anyone seriously think that the teachers at the unit would not have been consulted regarding this, their expert advice sought and why did it take until now anyway? Bro Teyrnon moved there at the end of the summer term! The overriding concern in all of this was the children in the unit. There is not just the language issue that could unsettle the children but the new school has way more children than the previous school and something that will inevitably be encountered if and when the unit is moved to the Gaer where there be nearly 400. Even the change in the colour of the new school's uniform could be unsettling. I am rather surprised at Cllr Fouweather as it wasn't that long ago he was spouting how supportive he was of Welsh medium education blah blah blah. He should get his facts straight first instead of using children for political point scoring.
Both the councillor and the SWA should apologise to the school. Does anyone seriously think that the teachers at the unit would not have been consulted regarding this, their expert advice sought and why did it take until now anyway? Bro Teyrnon moved there at the end of the summer term! The overriding concern in all of this was the children in the unit. There is not just the language issue that could unsettle the children but the new school has way more children than the previous school and something that will inevitably be encountered if and when the unit is moved to the Gaer where there be nearly 400. Even the change in the colour of the new school's uniform could be unsettling. I am rather surprised at Cllr Fouweather as it wasn't that long ago he was spouting how supportive he was of Welsh medium education blah blah blah. He should get his facts straight first instead of using children for political point scoring. Mwy Eira

8:18am Wed 4 Dec 13

Michael Weedall says...

Mwy Eira wrote:
Both the councillor and the SWA should apologise to the school. Does anyone seriously think that the teachers at the unit would not have been consulted regarding this, their expert advice sought and why did it take until now anyway? Bro Teyrnon moved there at the end of the summer term! The overriding concern in all of this was the children in the unit. There is not just the language issue that could unsettle the children but the new school has way more children than the previous school and something that will inevitably be encountered if and when the unit is moved to the Gaer where there be nearly 400. Even the change in the colour of the new school's uniform could be unsettling. I am rather surprised at Cllr Fouweather as it wasn't that long ago he was spouting how supportive he was of Welsh medium education blah blah blah. He should get his facts straight first instead of using children for political point scoring.
Well said and the only councillors I trust with the Welsh Medium Education is Plaid Cymru. All the local councils don't seem to care and Education as an whole in Wales did not get good results yesterday and the First Minister was so complacent in the chamber with all the other parties. And the Tories I ain't got a comment that printable on any website.
[quote][p][bold]Mwy Eira[/bold] wrote: Both the councillor and the SWA should apologise to the school. Does anyone seriously think that the teachers at the unit would not have been consulted regarding this, their expert advice sought and why did it take until now anyway? Bro Teyrnon moved there at the end of the summer term! The overriding concern in all of this was the children in the unit. There is not just the language issue that could unsettle the children but the new school has way more children than the previous school and something that will inevitably be encountered if and when the unit is moved to the Gaer where there be nearly 400. Even the change in the colour of the new school's uniform could be unsettling. I am rather surprised at Cllr Fouweather as it wasn't that long ago he was spouting how supportive he was of Welsh medium education blah blah blah. He should get his facts straight first instead of using children for political point scoring.[/p][/quote]Well said and the only councillors I trust with the Welsh Medium Education is Plaid Cymru. All the local councils don't seem to care and Education as an whole in Wales did not get good results yesterday and the First Minister was so complacent in the chamber with all the other parties. And the Tories I ain't got a comment that printable on any website. Michael Weedall

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