Parents battle plans to close Llantarnam school

First published in News

PARENTS who have been left angry at proposals to close Llantarnam School have vowed to fight the plans.

Parent and governor at Llantarnam School, Sue Tamplin, said that parents are unhappy that the proposal is for the closure of Llantarnam School, with pupils relocating to Fairwater School.

There will be a £6 million refurbishment of Fairwater School, which will result in the use of demountable classrooms for four years to allow for enough space for all the pupils until the refurbishment takes place.

She said: “This site is not the best site for any proposals due to safety issues, including youngsters being dropped off on the main road and it is a steep sloping site on many levels.”

Mrs Tamplin claims that the Llantarnam site is safer as pupil transport enters school grounds and the site is on flat land.

She said: “We are proposing that we get a new build on the Llantarnam site with all youngsters being taught on a safer, bigger site where a new build can go ahead without much disruption to staff or pupils.”

The second option that the parents are proposing is that the council buys the land at the former Police Training College, Cwmbran, and build a new school there.

She said that the site is easily accessible with more than enough ground for a new primary school in the future.

She said: “Wales is failing our youngsters in their education and Torfaen Council has been in special measures for some time now. So to suggest just a patch up of an existing school in the area is an insult.”

Mrs Tamplin is calling on local parents to make their voice heard at future consultation meetings.

She added: “We must all stand together with our youngsters and fight for them to have the best that they so richly deserve to enable them to compete for college and university places and be proud to say they went to school in Cwmbran.”

Sarah Smith, whose child attends Llantarnam, added: “Parents feel that the closure of Llantarnam and the merger to Fairwater is a travesty.”

The executive member for children and young people, Cllr Brian Mawby, said: “The Fairwater site has been proposed for the newly formed school owing to it being the most central location for the majority of the pupils who would be attending.”

Comments (2)

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7:53pm Tue 24 Dec 13

Alessi says...

"The current capacity of Fairwater is 1312 and it currently has 717 pupils. This figure is predicted to drop to 548 in September 2015". (55% and 41% of capacity respectively)
"For Llantarnam the capacity is 1475, with 1003 pupils currently attending. The figures are forecast to fall to 770 by 2015". (68% and 52% respectively)
"This would mean that, based on current projections, a new school opening in September 2015 would have 1318 pupils, and this is forecast to fall to 1142 by 2018".
This appears to be a simple maths equation. Fairwater has less pupils attending now than Llantarnam and Fairwater is predicted to have less pupils in the future. So how does it make sense to make a greater number of pupils travel further to receive their education. Furthermore, Llantarnam already has the capacity to cope with the predicted 1318 pupils in September 2015.
Why spend £6m at Fairwater when Llantarnam aleady has the capacity to cope?
Fairwater is being proposed as the most suitable site because of its more central location – having the right sized schools in the right place is a key principle of the 21st Century Schools programme.
It certainly does not sound that Fairwater is in a more central location, especially when more pupils will have to travel to it.
If the truth was being spoken it is clear that we need a secondary school in the Fairwater area and the same can also be said for Llantarnam. The numbers quoted above from the TBC website certainly do not make sense to support a new school in Fairwater. Also, what happens if the huge Llantarnam housing development plans are passed by TBC in the future. Will all these school children go to Fairwater also?
Just a thought for consideration - keep both buildings, but have 1 school spread over 2 sites. Demolish some of the out buildings and save some of the costs. 1 headmaster, 1 deputy, share some of the teachers and depatment heads etc etc. The Cardiff University is spread over many sites around Cardiff but it is still 1 University, 1 principal etc etc Take a look at how that is managed first.
Big is not always better, plan to have 2 smaller schools that will be so much easier to control and manage. Then maybe we will adopt a key principle of the 21st Century school programme that states the right sized school in the right place. Having 1 school will mean that it will be in the wrong place for 50% of its pupils.
Finally, how much is the land worth at the Llantarnam site. I wonder what bearing this will have on any decision? Do not let the price of land influence what is best for our children's education
"The current capacity of Fairwater is 1312 and it currently has 717 pupils. This figure is predicted to drop to 548 in September 2015". (55% and 41% of capacity respectively) "For Llantarnam the capacity is 1475, with 1003 pupils currently attending. The figures are forecast to fall to 770 by 2015". (68% and 52% respectively) "This would mean that, based on current projections, a new school opening in September 2015 would have 1318 pupils, and this is forecast to fall to 1142 by 2018". This appears to be a simple maths equation. Fairwater has less pupils attending now than Llantarnam and Fairwater is predicted to have less pupils in the future. So how does it make sense to make a greater number of pupils travel further to receive their education. Furthermore, Llantarnam already has the capacity to cope with the predicted 1318 pupils in September 2015. Why spend £6m at Fairwater when Llantarnam aleady has the capacity to cope? Fairwater is being proposed as the most suitable site because of its more central location – having the right sized schools in the right place is a key principle of the 21st Century Schools programme. It certainly does not sound that Fairwater is in a more central location, especially when more pupils will have to travel to it. If the truth was being spoken it is clear that we need a secondary school in the Fairwater area and the same can also be said for Llantarnam. The numbers quoted above from the TBC website certainly do not make sense to support a new school in Fairwater. Also, what happens if the huge Llantarnam housing development plans are passed by TBC in the future. Will all these school children go to Fairwater also? Just a thought for consideration - keep both buildings, but have 1 school spread over 2 sites. Demolish some of the out buildings and save some of the costs. 1 headmaster, 1 deputy, share some of the teachers and depatment heads etc etc. The Cardiff University is spread over many sites around Cardiff but it is still 1 University, 1 principal etc etc Take a look at how that is managed first. Big is not always better, plan to have 2 smaller schools that will be so much easier to control and manage. Then maybe we will adopt a key principle of the 21st Century school programme that states the right sized school in the right place. Having 1 school will mean that it will be in the wrong place for 50% of its pupils. Finally, how much is the land worth at the Llantarnam site. I wonder what bearing this will have on any decision? Do not let the price of land influence what is best for our children's education Alessi
  • Score: -2

8:11pm Tue 24 Dec 13

clinteastwood says...

Quick get your kids in Croesyceiliog. Apparently they still have a few places. And it's a really good school.
Quick get your kids in Croesyceiliog. Apparently they still have a few places. And it's a really good school. clinteastwood
  • Score: -3

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