The Vale of Glamorgan Council is proposing to build a new 210 place primary school in Rhoose and relocate Llancarfan Primary School – meaning closure of a School that has existed in the village since 1875, and negatively impacting upon two communities within the Vale.
29TH OCTOBER 2018
Although a call-in was submitted by Cllr Matt Lloyd (Conservative) on Friday 26th October, it has been rejected by Cllr Lis Burnett (Scrutiny Chair, Labour) “following advice” (which we can only assume is a result of officer/Cabinet input or persuasion behind the scenes). We have asked Cllr Burnett for comment, but the process therefore will proceed to a 28 day statutory notice period where staff, governors, parents and the community can formally object to the proposals. We will notify everyone of these processes and how to submit objections nearer the time. Should the cabinet then still vote to proceed, the Council still need to gain the 21st Century funding (£2M) from the Welsh Assembly Government via a successful business case. We will obviously lobby the WAG hard to raise all issues with the proposal and call into question the conduct of the officers, council and consultation processes. Finally, we have the chance to pursue judicial review to legally overturn the decision (see below).
BBC Wales Today (Evening News) – Friday 7th September 2018
(Click the Speaker symbol in the bottom right of video to enable audio)
Footage © BBC MMXVIII
- 15TH OCTOBER 2018 – Cabinet members have voted 6-1 to proceed with their proposal to close the Llancarfan School site in the village and ‘transfer’ it to a new site in Rhoose – ignoring the recommendations of their own Scrutiny Committee, and all those who responded through the consultation processes. There are, however, still options for us to explore.
- 1ST OCTOBER 2018 – Outcome of today’s Scrutiny Meeting is they will recommend to Cabinet that they (Cabinet / Officers) further engage with communities to explore options in respect of future primary provision in Llancarfan and Western Vale.
- 17TH SEPTEMBER 2018 – The Council Cabinet has voted to defer their vote on the School’s future and instead refer the proposal to the Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee. This will be heard on Monday 1st October at 6pm in Civic Offices, Barry, with the Cabinet re-voting on 15th October at their 2pm meeting. The full agenda and make-up of the Scrutiny Committee can be found at
- 11TH SEPTEMBER 2018 – THE COUNCIL’S CONSULTATION REPORT IS NOW OUT
Please click here to view.
The Council will vote on the School’s future at 2pm on Monday 17th September at the Civic Offices, Holton Road, Barry. Public can attend (but not contribute).
- Data on SECOND consultation (obtained via a Freedom of Information request):
– The Council received 536 responses online and by post, email correspondence is still being compiled.
– 45 were in favour , 490 against and 1 offered no opinion either way.
– 160 parents, 10 members of staff, 26 pupils, 266 local residents, 6 governors and 68 others responded
- A number of consultation responses were not received in full by the council due to their software capping character limits without notifying respondents. This has occurred for both the first and second consultations. The first consultation closed over 15 weeks ago. The action committee therefore believe that consultation responses were not thoroughly considered, and therefore did not adequately inform the second consultation, as this issue was not identified (despite the action committee highlighting that this issue may be occurring a number of weeks ago). This is an important issue to be raised as clearly the validity of the consultation processes is called in to question.
- On 2nd July 2018 the Welsh Government published it’s long-awaited response to the consultation on the School Organisation Code.
Llancarfan Primary is the only school in the Vale of Glamorgan to appear in the list of Rural Schools that will be safeguarded by the new ‘presumption against closure of rural schools’ when the revised Code comes into force later this year.
This is highly significant and needs to be highlighted in letters to the councillors and AMs (see below). Although the new Code won’t be in force just yet, the Minister has said she expects Local Authorities to observe the spirit of the new changes as the Welsh Government has clearly signalled its policy intentions and direction of travel. As Llancarfan is the only school in the VoG to appear in the new list, it is reasonable to expect the Council to observe the new requirements in respect of it.
The new School Organisation Code will help safeguard Llancarfan well into the future if we can win this battle over ‘transfer’. The Welsh Government makes clear that surplus places will no longer be sufficient grounds for closing rural schools, and that schools should look to reduce excess places by “rationalising school space”. “We also accept”, the report goes on, “that some schools in rural areas may operate with a higher percentage of empty places than schools in urban areas.”
Click here to view the School Organisation Code consultation document (listing Llancarfan Primary as a rural school – Annex A page 29)
- View the Llancarfan Primary School Parents Survey results here.
The survey is robust, has been completed anonymously by parents, has a very good response rate and was conducted with scrupulous fairness to ensure the result are an unbiased reflection of parents’ views. The findings speak for themselves in terms of counteracting the council’s arguments that all current children at Llancarfan Primary will transfer to the new school and that the only reason for parents choosing the school is the Cowbridge catchment area.
- Through an FOI request the Vale of Glamorgan Council have notified us that the Council received 513 responses online and by post during the first consultation of which 37 (7%) were in favour and 471 (92%) against. 5 (1%) expressed no opinion either way.
- The following link should take you directly to the start of Cllr Bob Penrose’s responses (or lack of!) to questions at the Vale of Glamorgan Council Meeting on 18th July 2018:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vEViv5BaW8&feature=youtu.be&t=1h17m53s(A reminder that he stated he couldn’t answer questions before as the consultation was open – but seems he still can’t now it’s closed!)
- ‘Llancarfan School move ‘shambolic and hugely divisive’ – a letter to Glamorgan GEM, 23rd October 2018
- ‘Llancarfan School faces closure as Vale council’s ruling body backs move’ – Wales Online, 15th October 2018
- ‘Council to move ahead with its plans for Llancarfan village school’ – Glamorgan GEM, 15th October 2018
- ‘Decision day for Llancarfan School on Monday’ – Bridgend and Porthcawl GEM, 12th October 2018
- ‘Parents fear school ‘closure’ will ‘rip the heart out of community” – Wales Online, 9th October 2018
- ‘Llancarfan school row moves on to a new stage’ – Glamorgan GEM, 2nd October 2018
- ‘Llancarfan school row rumbles on’ – Barry GEM, 26th September 2018
- ‘Campaigners say they could take council to court if they decide to move rural Llancarfan Primary School’ – WalesOnline, 18th September 2018
- ‘Llancarfan parents and residents oppose council’s plans for village school’ – Barry GEM, 14th September 2018
- ‘Parents fear Welsh school closures being rushed’ – Educational Executive, 10th September 2018
- ‘Wales’ rural school closures being ‘rushed through’ fear’ – BBC Wales, 7th September 2018
- ‘IT glitch angers Llancarfan school campaigners’ – Barry GEM, 20th August 2018
- ‘Security called and man escorted out as campaigners ‘disrupted’ council meeting’ – WalesOnline, 20th July 2018
- ‘Campaigners step up efforts to save Llancarfan School’ – Llantwit Major GEM, 9th July 2018
- ‘Llancarfan parents not impressed with second council consultation plan’ – Llantwit Major GEM, 15th June 2018
- ‘Council begins a second consultation on Llancarfan School’ – Bridgend & Porthcawl GEM, 23rd May 2018
- ‘Llancarfan parents step up opposition to school closure’ – Barry GEM, 19th April 2018
- ‘Protests over plans to move Llancarfan Primary School’ – WalesOnline, 16th April 2018
- ‘Parents ready to fight to keep their village school’ – Barry GEM, 6th April 2018
- ‘Llancarfan parents protest over school closure plans’ – Glamorgan GEM, 29th March 2018
- ‘School set to move in £4m shake-up plan’ – Barry & District News, 29th March 2018
- ‘Vale primary school could be on the move’ – Barry GEM, 17th January 2018
YOU CAN CONTINUE TO PUT THE PRESSURE ON THE COUNCIL BY:
- Writing individual letters/emails to all Vale of Glamorgan Cabinet members:
- Cllr Andrew Parker AParker@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk
- Cllr Gordon Kemp firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cllr Geoff Cox email@example.com
- Cllr John Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cllr Hunter Jarvie email@example.com
- Cllr Bob Penrose BPenrose@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk
- Cllr Jonathan Bird firstname.lastname@example.org
(NB: all are Conservative except Bob Penrose who is Independent)
- Signing the online petition at https://chn.ge/2uJXQ02
- Joining the community Facebook group for the latest updates and documents
You can find out more about the proposals via the link below.
Thank you for your support.