Parents stunned by school's Welsh-only classes proposal
PARENTS have been stunned by plans to teach pupils at a Teifi Valley primary school only in Welsh.
The Journal revealed last week that governors at Ysgol Y Ddwylan in Newcastle Emlyn want to scrap the classes where children are taught in English.
The change would be phased so as not to affect existing pupils — but the plan is for all new children to be taught only in Welsh.
Newcastle Emlyn Town Council heard on Thursday that parents — who were not informed of the proposal — were shocked to hear the news.
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Councillor Gareth Williams said: "I think they [the school] will fail a lot of children in the local area.
"I think it will have an impact on the town.
"As a parent, to read about it in the press was a shock.
"I think there's going to be a lot of upset parents."
County councillor Hazel Evans said there would be consultation with parents in due course.
"The consultation hasn't started yet," she said.
"I don't know when it would happen. It's not imminent.
"The head teacher informed the teachers there was going to start the consultation."
Town mayor Alan Jones added: "We will have to wait for the consultation until we give a comment."
In a letter to the Journal, Maureen Webley, speaking as a member of the public, said she was also shocked at the news.
She said: "Over twenty years ago, a group of concerned parents were able to exercise their parental choice, as enshrined in law, for an English education stream for their children. Now it would seem the whole debate is about to be repeated."
Sioned Thomas, chair of the school of governors at Ysgol Y Ddwylan, said the decision to look into changing the category of the school had been made in November.
She previously said the change would take place gradually with the removal of the English stream.
She added that the move would help the school free up teachers as they are currently forced to double up some classes with children from different year groups.
Carmarthenshire Council said it was in talks with the school about a change after a request from the governors.
Ysgol y Ddwylan is the main feeder school for the town's secondary school Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn, which teaches in English.
Governors at that school said they do not believe it would mean parents would choose to continue their children's education in Welsh — such as by going to Llandysul's Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi.
Caroline Roberts, chair of the governors of Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn, said: "I don't belive that will happen.
''The majority of our feeder schools in the area are already category A (Welsh language) and that has no impact at all."
She added: "We have no concern as a governing body as to the consultation process.
"We are an English medium school and will remain an English school and aim to continue to support bilingualism in the community."
See Letters — page 28