Parents and pupils plan Senedd protest against closure of Llanrumney High School

March 27, 2013 No Comments »
Leighton Andrews has ordered Cardiff Council to close Llanrumney High School.

Leighton Andrews is consulting on the possible closure of Llanrumney High School.

Parents and pupils are planning a march to the Senedd in protest against the enforced closure of their city secondary school.

Youngsters have joined forces to make their own posters and placards, which they will take with them on their way to the National Assembly headquarters in Cardiff Bay tomorrow at 11am.

Campaigners are concerned controversial plans to close Llanrumney High School a year ahead of schedule will “rip apart” the community and “seriously disrupt” pupils’ education.

The protest follows a decision by Education Minister Leighton Andrews to consult on closing the school – adjudged by education watchdog Estyn as requiring “special measures” – using powers never seen before in Wales.

Mr Andrews, who has long threatened to close “failing” schools, believes Llanrumney High is beyond help and should close sooner rather than later.

In December, Cardiff council approved plans to move all pupils at Llanrumney High to nearby Rumney High School from September 2013.

But Mr Andrews’ intervention would override plans to retain their identities for a year.

Campaigners fear the school’s closure would see Llanrumney staff made redundant and pupils moving into new surroundings at Rumney High on their own.

The consultation process ends today.

A governor, who did not want to be named, said: “This decision will rip apart this community, seriously disrupt the education of all pupils at both schools and leave all the hard-working staff and teachers at Llanrumney High School unemployed.”

Mal Davies, a former city headteacher and Cardiff secretary of the NUT, said the minister’s intervention had caused a great deal of concern.

“There are deep-rooted, generational tensions between the two schools and communities affected by this proposal, Llanrumney and Rumney,” he said.

“To create educational and social disruption by hurriedly and unnecessarily forcing the two schools into one prior to the establishment of a new Eastern School site… has the potential to impact massively on the educational provision at Rumney in a most detrimental way.”

A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: “Our concern is that, given Estyn’s recent inspection report, the timeframe of Llanrumney’s closure is too drawn out and does not ensure the closure quickly enough.

“We are consulting on this and welcome views as part of that consultation process.

“We hope that parents and pupils can understand why we will not tolerate schools that are failing and where the situation is irredeemable.”

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