Parents call on local Welsh County Council to stop victimising their 4-year-old children and allow them entry to the village school.
The rural communities of Hermon, Glogue and Llanfyrnach – North Pembrokeshire continue to demand a halt to Pembrokeshire County Council’s victimisation shown towards the young toddlers living in the 3 villages within the catchment area of the successful Hermon School. Since January 2004 a total of 5 children have now been blocked from entering the school that currently has 50 children on the register. The council sites the fact that the school capacity is only 46 but parents have continually reminded council officers that figures have been constantly over 50 for several years and that neighbouring schools are encouraged to take in pupils over and above the capacity.
One of the children who have now been blocked from entering the school in April is 4-year-old Rhodri George who lives only a few yards from the school. His mother Eleri is Treasurer of the voluntary Nursery – Cylch Meithrin Hermon and is saddened to see that the County Council is taking such a negative attitude towards early years education. Eleri commented “ The Cylch Meithrin will have over 16 children in April and it shows that there is a growing demand for the council to invest in the future of the vibrant Hermon Primary School, but the fact that they wish to see declining pupil numbers to assist their plans of closing the school is totally underhand and simply out of order in that they are having a detrimental effect on our children’s early years education”
Another parent Anna Wilshaw who’s daughter Catrin wished to join her elder brother Hedd at the school was told that she could take Catrin to another school if she so wished. Anna commented “Pembrokeshire County Council have operated in totally unprofessional manner where we as parents have applied several months ago to have our children attend the village school but the council did not have the courtesy to inform us until last Tuesday i.e. the week before our children were meant to start Primary School.”
The parents are also bemused that they had to fill in application forms months in advance of wishing their children to start at Hermon School but when enquiring with neighbouring school how should they apply for entry, the school simply request that they turn up on the Monday morning and a place will be granted immediately – yet again the children and parents of Hermon School have been prejudiced against
The Save Hermon School Campaigners are now gearing them selves for the High Court Hearing in London of the 22nd of April (the previous date of 25th of March was postponed due to lack of space on the High Court Schedule). The Chairman of the Campaign committee – Cris Tomos noted. “ Its is a very sad state of affairs when your Local Education Authority within the County Council are manipulating school figures to assist their undemocratic goals of closing as many rural primary schools as possibly. Also to see individual families being told that their children of primary age will have to attend separate local primaries show the total lack of thought being given by local authorities.” Cris went on to add “The Hermon School Campaigners are now teaming up with the Lowick School Campaigners in Cumbria where a new initiative of setting up Co-operative schools run and controlled by the local community is being developed, the Lowick school are pioneering the initiative in England where Hermon School could adopt the model for a first Co-operative run Community Primary School in Wales.” Cris Tomos who is also Chairman of the Cylch Meithrin Committee finished on a positive note “ It would fitting to allow the communities of Hermon, Y Glog and Llanfyrnach to develop a Co-operatively Run Primary School and thus give parents, the governors and community leaders the rights to development best community educational methods and standards within their community.”
The High Court Case on the 22/04/04 will be a test case and will influence many such future cases in rural areas, it will be interesting to see the judges reaction to the above victimisation and unprofessional methods used by the Local Educational Authority. The fact that County Councils can pour vast amounts of money into bullying communities into accepting their short term whims will now be tested by the small Hermon community fighting back with the help and donations from people all across the whole of the UK. The Hermon School Campaign continues to search for champions who can donate towards their fighting fund and ensure that Barristers and QCs are employed to give the best possible hearing to their high court Judicial Review.
Any one interested in supporting the school’s campaign can visit the community website on www.hermonglog.org.uk and donate anonymously into the bank account or send donations by post to Hermon School, Pembs, SA36 ODT.
Picture Below; Four Year Old - Rhodri George playing on his swing on the lawn of the family home which is yards away form the Community Primary school at Hermon. Rhodri has been blocked from entering the school along with 4 other youngsters.
School Governors Contact: Nerys Nicholas - Contact Number 01239 831701 or 07766 545383
School Campaign Co-ordinator: Cris Tomos – Contact Number 01239 831962 or 07974 099738
Legal Contact: Michael Imperato Solicitor – Contact 02920 262811
Anna Wilshaw – Parent of Blocked Child Catrin – 01239 831878
Lowick School – Cumbria: Contact Rose Bugler 01229 885694