Press Release 01/08/03 - Hermon School Closure

- Solicitors instructed to make application to the High Court for a Judicial Review if Council fail to withdraw Closure Notice .

Pembrokeshire County Council have been issued with a solicitors letter outlining a 7 days notice as of the 29/07/03 for the council to withdraw it's intention of closing Hermon Primary School. The solicitors letter posted to the council last week states that the Parents and children of the expanding 52 pupil primary school at Hermon have instructed the Cardiff based solicitor Michael Imperato of Russell, Jones and Walker to highlight that the consultation process has been flawed. Also that the Council have not acted in accordance with the guidance laid down by the Welsh Assembly Government in respect of the closure of rural school. The letter goes on to provide instances of how the above comments can be substantiated. The solicitor representing the school asks the council to withdraw the notice and confirm that it is not their intention to close Hermon school at this stage failing which he is instructed to make an application to the high court for a judicial review of their decision.

A parent and spokesman for Hermon school - Cris Tomos noted " This is a significant step forward for the campaign to save the school where within 7 days if our solicitor has not heard fro the Council Officers, our solicitor will be forwarding large numbers of Legal Aid application forms to the Legal Aid Board for the approval of funding to cover the cost of the high court barrister. The fact that so many parents have signed the Legal Aid forms will defiantly be in our favour." Cris Tomos added " The school currently performs extremely well in educational terms where the most recent SATS results for Hermon primary school shows the percentage of pupils achieving level 4 or above in core subject being 83% compared to the Pembrokeshire average of 73% and the Welsh average of 68%. According to County Council records the cost per pupil is less than the county average and the future number of pupils is set to rise thus reducing the cost per head even further. The impact of the enforced closure of the school will dramatically effect the community where parents have indicated that they will take their children to other schools in the locality. This will see current community ties broken where children who live next door to one another will possibly not attend the same primary school and therefore not undertake similar ex-curriculum activities, also there is a threat that new families will seek primary schools that do not place as greater emphasis on the Welsh Language as Hermon Primary School presently does, thus posing further threat to the erosion of the language used by future generation within the community."

The parents of Hermon are currently writing official letters of Objection regarding notice of closure, which is a statutory requirement to ensure that the matter is passed on to the National Assembly minister for consideration. The Statutory Notice given on the 18/06/03 also states that anyone from anywhere can object to the County Councils proposal, therefore the community at Hermon wished to encourage as many letter of objection from across Pembrokeshire and Wales (or even further) and to make their feeling heard. The deadline for submission of the letters is the 18/08/03 where full background details of the Hermon Campaign can be viewed on the Community Website

Cris Tomos - Tel. 01239 831962

Michael Imperato - Solicitor Tel 02920 262811