According to the BBC, Anglesey may see 17 of its rural schools disappear – though protesters are hoping for a dull debate on the subject
Anglesey Council may close 17 rural schools in the area, which a campaigner has stated would have a “tremendous” impact on small communities.
A petition to stop this from happening now boasts over 5,000 signatures, possibly leading to the matter being debated in the Senedd.
The council had suggested that schools with less than 120 should be shut down to enable it to save £9m, stating that it was “no longer possible to safeguard education.”
Islwyn Humphreys, who has been fighting to save Talwrn primary school on Anglesey, said:
“It is going to have a tremendous effect on general life, and I have no doubt that the Welsh language will suffer.”
In August, Anglesey AM Rhun ap Iorwerth accepted a petition from Llangefni primary school Bodffordd’s parent-teacher association, after the council approved plans to close down the village school.
The plan is to move pupils to a shared ‘super school’, but following a meeting of the Welsh assembly’s petitions committee, a full debate is now being asked for.
ap Iorwerth stated that he was questioning whether the Welsh government’s changes are “anything more than words without the resources to support it”.
“I’m very pleased that the Petitions Committee decided to ask for this petition and this important matter to be discussed at a full meeting of the National Assembly,” he said.
“There are a number of key issues that need to be explored when it comes to the Assembly floor, not least what the petitioners asked for; whether Welsh Government is ensuring that local authorities the length and breadth of Wales are keeping to the code.”
An Anglesey council spokesperson said: “We are continuing to comply with the current school organisation code.
“However, with significant cuts to local authority budgets, it is unfortunately no longer possible to safeguard education.
“The recent decisions to close a number of Anglesey primary schools were extremely difficult decisions, but we are confident that they were based on robust evidence and will benefit the county’s education system as a whole.”