PRESS RELEASE – 27:06:03
Hermon Community Primary School have received the 52 Legal Aid Application Forms which will allow the children of the school to challenge Pembrokeshire County Council's decision to close the thriving school. During a visit to the school on Monday the 23/06/03 by the shadow Liberal Democrat Educational Minister Peter Black, the strength of attendance at the meeting reaffirmed the parents and communities continued backing in maintaining the thriving community school.
Currently the school has 53 children where there are no surplus places. (Capacity of 46 according to Local Authority figures). Peter Black fully supported Hermon school's fight and indicated that with the concrete educational, financial and community strengths at the school that the school could indeed set legal precedence in securing legal aid to challenge the County Council's consultation process and the accuracy of the County Council's recommendation reports provided to the elected cabinet members on the 19/05/03 when the decision to close the school was announced.
The County Councils scrutiny committee will meet on the 03/07/03 at 10.00am where the parents and residents of the Hermon School Catchment area will protest at the County Hall Local Government Buildings at Haverfordwest to ensure that all Scrutiny Members are made aware of the unfair consultation treatment given to Hermon Community School where the facts relating to the excellent Education, community, environment and pupil costs being below the county average was not given adequate reference within the consultation report. The Scrutiny Committee members are also being reminded through letters from the school parents that they also will need to account for their actions and decisions in reviewing the Cabinets decision if the school children are awarded legal aid.
The other main concerns of the Hermon School parents is that the proposed 180 pupils area primary school operational plans at Crymych were never fully presented in detail by the County Council during the consultation process. With the outline plan indication that the New Crymych Primary Area school will be immediately adjacent to the Preseli Secondary School (with secondary figures now increasing to just under 900 - a record level – requiring numerous portacabin classes) where space is currently at a premium, the building of the new area primary will mean the loss of a full rugby pitch to the secondary school. The council also wish to build a new e-learning centre adjacent to the new primary, also a new primary school hall and finally a new early years centre. The Hermon Parents questions regarding logistics of traffic, monitoring of early years through to adult learning provision within this congested campus have yet to be answered by the council. Finally the county council planning department have granted building consent for 25 new houses immediately opposite to the proposed new area school entrance where again the logistics of traffic and congestion have not been outlined to the parents.