Plaid Cymru Member of Senedd for South Wales West Sioned Williams has welcomed the High Court’s new ruling that Neath Port Talbot Council's decision to open a new English-medium ‘super school’ in Pontardawe is illegal, as the Council had failed to assess the impact of this on Welsh-medium education.
The judgment follows a request for a judicial review by Rhieni dros Addysg Gymraeg (Parents for Welsh-medium Education, "RhAG"), an organisation which supports parents who wish to choose Welsh-medium education for their children and which promotes Welsh-medium education in general.
Sioned Williams MS said:
"This is good news for the Swansea Valley in terms of protecting and developing the Welsh language locally and in terms of underlining the erroneous nature of the consultation that was carried out on the plans to reorganise English-medium schools. I would like to thank RhAG, who succeeded in challenging the Council's decision to open the new school, as the statutory consultation and subsequent decision did not comply with the Welsh Government's School Organisation Code. I had constantly raised this matter with the previous Council and with the Welsh Government and am therefore very proud of the High Court's decision.
"We now need a new consultation on alternative options in terms of reorganising schools in the Swansea Valley and an assurance from the Welsh Government that the funding earmarked for the scheme, which was delayed due to these concerns, will be available to the Council for the other possible options."