Keep Penderyn Community Primary School a dual language school

Keep Penderyn Community Primary School a dual language school

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Jo Jones started this petition to Gaynor Davies (Director of Education and Inclusion Services)

The council want to change the language medium status of Penderyn Community Primary School from dual language to fully welsh from September 1st 2021. This plan will adversely affect my 3 children, and the other 20 children in the Penderyn catchment area who are taught through the medium of English.

Penderyn Community School is a community school, therefore, should provide education primarily to the Penderyn Community, who, according to council statistics (22 children from the Penderyn catchment area attend the English side which is the majority of the children in Penderyn) would like to be taught through the medium of English.

If these plans go ahead, the community of Penderyn will be damaged by this proposal and our children will not be mixing with those few who are taught in the medium of Welsh. The proposal says it “supports the Welsh Government Cymraeg 2050 ...” but it does not support the needs of the local people actually living within the community of Penderyn. We should not be forced to send our children to a school outside the community just to meet government targets. We are talking about the lives of our children, they are not just a number. The effect on the children being forced out if this goes ahead has clearly not been taken into account.

The children will no longer all be mixing, the parents/carers will no longer be meeting at the school gates. The village will be divided into Welsh and English instead of being one community. Instead, we will be losing our community school and children from outside of the catchment area will instead be coming into our village for school while our children are sent to a school which is struggling. This brings me on to my next point. The council would like our children to go to Hirwaun Primary School which has recently been rated as 'red' when it was inspected by Estyn. Out of the 5 areas that were inspected only 1 was judged as good, and the teaching and learning experiences were judged as 'unsatisfactory and needs urgent improvement'. I do not want to move my children from a school which was judged as 'good' in 4 out of the 5 areas, and rated as 'yellow' to a school which is clearly struggling. It is discrimination to force the children who live in Penderyn and who want their children to be taught through the medium of English to go to a school which is not performing well. Our children should be able to attend their local school and be taught in English since it is the first language of the majority of residents.

The transfer to another school will be very stressful for those children and parents involved and parental preference is to keep Penderyn Community Primary School a dual language community school which promotes integration, not segregation!

It is portrayed as a negative that the children in Penderyn are being taught in mixed year groups, however, it is beneficial to the children as they learn from their peers and can help others learn too. My eldest has benefited from this setup as he was able to learn from the older children and therefore achieve more than he may have done if he was just being taught the curriculum for his age.

The catchment for welsh is larger than for english, therefore, why not increase the catchment for those wanting their children to be taught in English.

This proposal would have a long term, negative, impact on families in Penderyn, not just short term, and it is only in terms of the welsh provision that it could be said that there are educational advantages.

If it is so easy to extend catchment areas, why not extend the catchment area for the English stream of Penderyn Community School? This would solve the (alleged) problem of declining numbers. “numbers have fallen to just 54 in the english stream ... only 22 pupils actually live within the Penderyn catchment area” 22 is a lot for a village, that is the majority of children in Penderyn being taught in English. The catchment area was reduced so why not extend it again.

Free transport is being offered to go to Hirwaun, but it is not a suitable option for such young children. It will be traumatic for both parents and children and it is not fair on them. As a parent of very young children, I want face to face contact with the staff who teach them.

The possibility of having to send them to school on a bus is completely unreasonable. I should not need to use free transport for my children when there is a 'community' school in my community within walking distance. How can you expect a 3 year old to go to school on a bus every morning. What if parents don't have a car and for some reason e.g. illness or appointment, a child needs collecting early? How are we expected to get to Hirwaun? We bought our house just before our 5 year old started school , and one of our criteria was for there to be a school in walking distance because I don't always have a car and I need to be able to take my children to and from school. My children should not have to go through this when there is a brilliant dual language school in the village we live, where I can speak to the teachers if I need to, and can easily do the school run.

On top of this, not everyone will use the 'free transport', resulting in more traffic on the roads with children being driven out of the village to school and children from outside the village being driven in for school. As a resident, I do not want more traffic on that road, it is busy enough as it is.

Segregation promotes intolerance and ignorance. Our children should be experiencing inclusion and this does not encourage it.  Penderyn Community Primary School should remain first and foremost, a school for the community where parents can choose for their children to be taught in either English or Welsh.This proposal will completely disconnect the school from the community.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!