Wednesday, 4 September 2013

An Open Letter To Parents and Supporters.

The Action Group would urge everyone who wishes to save Pentre School to submit letters of objection to the Director of Education ASAP.

Many of you may be discouraged by the treatment we received at the hands of cabinet last July when not one member appeared interested in listening to anything we had to say. You probably reason that if they could treat us with such contempt face to face what chance is there of them even considering a letter?

The simple answer is none. The final consultation paper presented to cabinet was over 500 pages and many of them were comprised of letters of concern written by parents and residents of Pentre and Treorchy primary schools. It is very doubtful if any member of cabinet read them all, if any.

However, this time the letters will be sent to the Welsh Assembly and the Minister for Education, Mr Huw Lewis, has assured us he will scrutinize them carefully. Remember, we are not only fighting to save the school and community but, above all, to ensure the safety and well being of our children. A comprehensive survey of the safety of our roads around schools was recently undertaken by insurance giants AXA and Road Safety Analysis. They state:

“(We) examined over 1 million pieces of data related to local areas around all 29,142 schools in Great Britain. The results are shocking. It found that in the past six years more than half a million vehicle collisions have occurred within 500 metres of a school. Tragically, more than 85,000 children were casualties (injuries reported to the police) of these incidents – equating to a deeply worrying 1,192 every month.”

You can access the data related to Pentre and Treorchy primary schools' online by following this link on the internet:

I have no idea if the cabinet or the Director of Education are aware of these statistics. They certainly were happy to ignore ministerial guidelines that clearly state, “Proposers should assess likely walking or cycling routes for safety and accessibility prior to bringing forward proposals.”

This did not happen in the case of Pentre and the survey contained in the consultation document is hardly worthy of the name. This really angers me because, as a former head teacher, if I had ignored health and safety guidelines before embarking on a school trip or educational visit and an accident occurred to one of my pupils I would have been disciplined and possibly dismissed, and rightly so. We should expect no less concern and rigour from our local LEA.

So please, get writing.

(This letter has been submitted to the Rhondda Leader and hopefully they will print it next week.)