TORFAEN’S plans for the re-organisation of secondary education in Cwmbran appear remarkably at odds with its declared intent of renewing its educational provision so that all pupils benefit equally from its future programme investment in new school buildings.

The proposed new catchment areas will mean that those children living in the relatively well-heeled east of Cwmbran will benefit from a complete rebuild of Croesyceiliog school at a cost of £36 million whilst those children from Fairwater and Llantarnam living in the more socially-disadvantaged west of Cwmbran will have to make do with an existing school building and just £6 million of refurbishment sometime in the next five years. How can Torfaen justify such unequal spending on its schools?

If Torfaen is serious about providing every child with the same educational opportunities and quality of school provision then the very least it can do is to provide Cwmbran with two new schools and the community should demand nothing less.

Torfaen’s 21st Century Schools capital spending programme allocates a total of £42 million for secondary school in the Cwmbran area over the next five years. This is more than enough to rebuild Croesyceiliog and a second new school for the west of Cwmbran providing the required number of 11-16 places.

Together with a new post-16 College for Torfaen provided by Coleg Gwent, this will go a long way to renew and improve education in the Borough which is badly needed and long overdue.

John Turner Chairman Llantarnam High School