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    20 February, 2006

    Blaenclydach School

    Last week we welcomed parents from Blaenclydach School who are protesting against plans to close their school to the Assembly. They met many members from all parties, including a former pupil, Alun Pugh AM.

    Blaenclydach was one of the first schools I visited after my election as Assembly Member for the Rhondda in 2003. I was impressed with the school and the services, such as the breakfast club, that it offered.

    The local Labour Councillor for Clydach Vale, Mark Norris, spoke against the closure of the school at the meeting called by the Council Cabinet last year to discuss the issue. He has been in touch with parents, governors and teachers throughout. I visited the school again at the beginning of the month: the picture shows me with the Chair of Governors, Avril Green.

    Now that the matter has gone to the Assembly Government for decision, I have written to Ministers to put the school's case. As well as the points that have been made by parents about
    the quality of the school's educational provision, its strong financial
    management, its innovative development of breakfast and after-school clubs,
    its family literacy classes, and its pre-school playgroup, I have also
    pointed out issues which it seems to me could be considered by Ministers
    which may not have been fully taken into account by the Council.

    These include information such as the fact that numbers may well rise with the new
    homes that are being built at Parc Gellifaelog; the strong community support
    expressed through the petition; and the impact on nursery provision if
    Blaenclydach closed.

    I was delighted to welcome parents to the Assembly and support their
    campaign to keep the school open.

    Rhondda TV
    The Labour Party

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