Minister refuses to comment on Caerphilly’s Welsh language education crisis
Welsh Education Minister Leighton Andrews has refused to comment on the crisis that could see pupils in Caerphilly County Borough turned away from Welsh language schools.
Demand for Welsh-medium education is outstripping supply at a dramatic rate and plans to boost capacity has been pushed back because of funding cuts from the Welsh Government.
Mr Andrews refused to comment as he attended the official opening of St James’ Primary School in Lansbury Park.
Asked by Caerphilly Observer about the state of Welsh language provision the Minister replied: “I’m not in a position to comment.”
Caerphilly County Borough Council wants to turn the old St Ilan school, which closed in 2007 and is situated on Pontygwindy Road, into a Welsh-medium school for pupils aged between 11 to 14.
Instead of going to Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni, Year 7 pupils living in the Caerphilly basin would go to the new school. The original plan was to have the new school open by September 2012 but this has been delayed by at least a year.
In July, the Welsh Government announced cuts to its 21st Century Schools programme meaning the council will have to cover 50% of the cost of the new scheme – instead of the original 30%.
If current demand for Welsh language places continue, then children could be turned away from Welsh schools by September 2013.