Hermon School P.T.A. meeting, 13th January 2003

Closure plans discussed

The PTA of Hermon School had a special meeting to discuss the proposed closure plans. Various options have been put forward and discussed including:-

  1. Complete closure of Hermon and Blaenffos schools and a new area school to be built at Crymych.
    1. This would remove a very important focal point for the community, many parents even choosing to move to the area in order to send their children to a local small, community school.
    2. Quite a few children enjoy time in "the park", the play area alongside the school which would be denied them if they were at Crymych.
    3. Many parents would try and send their children to another "small school" rather than Crymych which would have over 100 pupils by then.
    4. Plans were drawn up in 1969 for a new primary school at Crymych due to open in 1971, this of course never happened and the school seems to have been neglected ever since, short on maintenance and adding portacabins to give extra room. A modest new school would seem to be in order but not at the expense of closing a very popular school at Hermon.
    5. One of the only factors put forward to back up the closure is the distance of Hermon school to Crymych which is 1.8 miles. This distance is quite small in a car but for children on a busy, narrow road with no walkways, it is a long way. Being a dead straight road, vehicles including quite a number of lorries, travel at sometimes extremely high speeds.
  2. Blaenffos closed and Hermon made into an annex of Crymych.
    1. If Hermon was made into an annex of Crymych, most of the control of the school would be lost. The majority of the PTA would be from Crymych and the Headmaster and governers at Crymych would have control of Hermon.
    2. The parents of Hermon are worried that the older children would be moved to Crymych leaving Hermon with only the very young children.
    3. Fundraising would be more difficult if the money had to help fund the pupils at Crymych as well. Many of the present activities would be unlikely to take place.
    4. The teachers would be under the control of Crymych and possibly subject to being changed round more frequently.
  3. Blaenffos closed and Hermon remaining open independantly of Crymych. This is the preferred option of the parents, the following points reinforce this view.
    1. The school is full to capacity and looks like being so for many years to come, this is based on the present "baby population" and also the village is expanding, more new houses are being built every year and there is planning permission for quite a few more.
    2. At present the parents of 15 children from out of the catchment area send their children to Hermon School. Those parents would not exercise their "parental preferance" for Hermon without good reason.
    3. If even some of the children from Hermon were taken to Crymych the already serious traffic chaos would increase significantly. Even if a bus or buses were provided, which has not been confirmed, the narrow and busy Hermon to Crymych road would get even more blocked with cars. At present some 30 cars pick up children from Hermon School and some children walk home, if they all had to go to Crymych it would mean all of them being ferried to school. Crymych has the added problem of the senior school with some 700 pupils next door to the primary school with 94 children. The primary school children leave about ½ hour before the senior school but many of the buses for the senior school are already waiting parked outside at this time. Another factor which has just been brought to our notice is that planning permission has been given to CCF (Clunderwen Farmers), which is across the road from Crymych Primary School on the Hermon to Crymych road, for nine dwellings, more cars!!!
    4. The PTA at Hermon raises a significant amount of money which allows the children to go on numerous trips, outings and buy equipment. If Hermon were to close the present PTA would be a minority at Crymych which raises little money and has few trips or other out of school activities. In the last year Hermon School has put on a Carol Service and also all the children were involved in a christmas play at a local chapel, a packed house!
    5. Plans are well under way for a village hall next to the school at Hermon. This is being planned as a community complex with rooms which would be available to the school and a parking area for some 50 cars.