Probe into move to close Torfaen’s top school

Probe into move to close Torfaen’s top school

Brian Mawby the new cabinet member for Torfaen for children and young people pictured at the Civic Centre, Pontypool. (1215592)

Brian Mawby the new cabinet member for Torfaen for children and young people pictured at the Civic Centre, Pontypool. (1215596)

First published in News

THE decision to close Torfaen’s highest performing school went before a scrutiny committee as a challenge was put forward against the cabinet decision.

On July 15, cabinet agreed to close Pontnewynydd Primary School with the majority of pupils moving to Penygarn Primary School from September 2015. But Independent councillor Mike Harris challenged the decision and gained the support of ten councillors during a vote at the overview and scrutiny meeting yesterday.

Cllr Harris claimed that cabinet did not have all of the facts before making the decision to close the school, which is Torfaen’s only sector leading primary school, according to Estyn.

He said if Pontnewynydd School closes then there will be a deficit number of places.

But education department officers disagreed with this explaining that figures Cllr Harris had quoted did not take into account the number of children who do not attend their nearest school and that there are around 1,800 surplus primary school places in the borough.

Cllr Harris pointed out that Pontnewynydd School needs approximately £746,000 of backlog maintenance to bring the school back to its “as built” condition, before any improvements. But Penygarn School needs in excess of this.

Officers responded that Penygarn Primary School is easier to remodel, while £162,000 would be saved from the closure of one school as the running costs no longer exist.

Cllr Harris proposed that the overview and scrutiny committee require cabinet to reconsider its decision. Councillors Barry Taylor and John Marshall backed Cllr Harris.

But Cllr Brian Mawby proposed an amendment that councillors note the decision taken by cabinet, which was carried.

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:03pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Abertillery29 says...

Labour party dogma again. Lets drag the pupils of an excellent school down to the lowest common denominator. Why have these Labour councillors over many, many years allowed the maintenance of our buildings to fall so far behind. Perhaps they should have been making council house tenants pay a realistic rent for their properties.
Labour party dogma again. Lets drag the pupils of an excellent school down to the lowest common denominator. Why have these Labour councillors over many, many years allowed the maintenance of our buildings to fall so far behind. Perhaps they should have been making council house tenants pay a realistic rent for their properties. Abertillery29
  • Score: 11

6:13pm Wed 23 Jul 14

bugsy93 says...

It is these Labour Coucillors in that Coucil chamber that is putting this Borough in a compltete shambles. You can now view this incompetent display on line.......They are only there for the financial rewards and not the benefit of the community..
It is these Labour Coucillors in that Coucil chamber that is putting this Borough in a compltete shambles. You can now view this incompetent display on line.......They are only there for the financial rewards and not the benefit of the community.. bugsy93
  • Score: 9

6:43pm Wed 23 Jul 14

warneboy says...

Abertillery29 wrote:
Labour party dogma again. Lets drag the pupils of an excellent school down to the lowest common denominator. Why have these Labour councillors over many, many years allowed the maintenance of our buildings to fall so far behind. Perhaps they should have been making council house tenants pay a realistic rent for their properties.
Are you a private landlord? Living a wealthy lifestyle off hardworking taxpayers money paid to you via housing benefit to cover the extortionate Private Rent Charges!
[quote][p][bold]Abertillery29[/bold] wrote: Labour party dogma again. Lets drag the pupils of an excellent school down to the lowest common denominator. Why have these Labour councillors over many, many years allowed the maintenance of our buildings to fall so far behind. Perhaps they should have been making council house tenants pay a realistic rent for their properties.[/p][/quote]Are you a private landlord? Living a wealthy lifestyle off hardworking taxpayers money paid to you via housing benefit to cover the extortionate Private Rent Charges! warneboy
  • Score: 0

9:35pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Abertillery29 says...

No I am not a private landlord. I was brought up in a very poor household paying rent to a private landlord who refused to carry out necessary repairs whilst council tenants paid much less and had their repairs carried out on demand. I am sick and tired of people like you who think that people who work hard and save should subsidise council tenants.
No I am not a private landlord. I was brought up in a very poor household paying rent to a private landlord who refused to carry out necessary repairs whilst council tenants paid much less and had their repairs carried out on demand. I am sick and tired of people like you who think that people who work hard and save should subsidise council tenants. Abertillery29
  • Score: 1

12:24am Thu 24 Jul 14

indy2012 says...

Am I right that Brian Mawby was sacked from his job as Education Member for Blaenau Gwent council when this borough went into special measures, and if so why is he the Execitive Member for Education in Torfaen?
Am I right that Brian Mawby was sacked from his job as Education Member for Blaenau Gwent council when this borough went into special measures, and if so why is he the Execitive Member for Education in Torfaen? indy2012
  • Score: 4

5:20am Thu 24 Jul 14

kazzamezza says...

indy2012 wrote:
Am I right that Brian Mawby was sacked from his job as Education Member for Blaenau Gwent council when this borough went into special measures, and if so why is he the Execitive Member for Education in Torfaen?
it is the same Brian Mawby...
Torfaen Council education department was also under special measures when it made the proposals to close it's best performing, sector leading school!
How is this allowed?
What also doesn't seem to be mentioned is the safety of the children at Penygarn school, the road is already a rat run at start & finish of school, so add to that approx 100 more pupils......
There is also a new housing development being built on the old Trevethin Comprehensive/Gramma
r school site, 100 houses, yet in the proposals the council estimate there will only be 10 children of school age residing there? a development of 3 & 4 bedroom properties, please do not insult my intelligence!
You have another Primary school in the area that has just been inspected which has come away with "average - staff & management don't communicate", also with surplus places so why not close that school, NO you want these children to move from excellent to average education or to Penygarn where the HeadTeacher & Deputy Head both resigned recently amidst great suspicion?
Money grabbing old codgers making WRONG decisions about our children's future, roll on local elections.
[quote][p][bold]indy2012[/bold] wrote: Am I right that Brian Mawby was sacked from his job as Education Member for Blaenau Gwent council when this borough went into special measures, and if so why is he the Execitive Member for Education in Torfaen?[/p][/quote]it is the same Brian Mawby... Torfaen Council education department was also under special measures when it made the proposals to close it's best performing, sector leading school! How is this allowed? What also doesn't seem to be mentioned is the safety of the children at Penygarn school, the road is already a rat run at start & finish of school, so add to that approx 100 more pupils...... There is also a new housing development being built on the old Trevethin Comprehensive/Gramma r school site, 100 houses, yet in the proposals the council estimate there will only be 10 children of school age residing there? a development of 3 & 4 bedroom properties, please do not insult my intelligence! You have another Primary school in the area that has just been inspected which has come away with "average - staff & management don't communicate", also with surplus places so why not close that school, NO you want these children to move from excellent to average education or to Penygarn where the HeadTeacher & Deputy Head both resigned recently amidst great suspicion? Money grabbing old codgers making WRONG decisions about our children's future, roll on local elections. kazzamezza
  • Score: 5

2:24pm Fri 25 Jul 14

littleface says...

Cllr Harris is a bigoted, lying bully who couldn't give a **** about this school, only petty points scoring.
Cllr Harris is a bigoted, lying bully who couldn't give a **** about this school, only petty points scoring. littleface
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree