A number of parents across Wrexham say they feel ‘let down by Wrexham Council’ after their child was refused a place in their desired Welsh medium primary school.
The allocation process for primary school places was completed last month, with parents across the county borough finding out if their child had been allocated a place at their preferred school by April 18th.
However RhAG (Rhieni dros Addysg Gymraeg) – a society that campaigns on behalf of parents wishing their children to receive Welsh medium education – say that a number of parents have been left devastated at their child not being offered a place in the desired school, with some families now having siblings in two different schools.
Campaigners also say that some parents have been refused a place in their first and second preference Welsh medium school – with some others considering placing their child in an English medium school.
Brian Williams of Rhostyllen, said he could not believe that it was ‘so difficult to get his child a Welsh medium education’ in Wales.
He said: “I am a proud Welshman who wants my child to speak Welsh.
“Last year when there was no space in the Welsh medium Nursery class I was told by the council I could send them to an English school for a year because they learn some Welsh. I was appalled and kept my child at home.”
Mr. Williams explained his anger with the situation, adding: “I am not happy this year because the school we have been offered a reception place is further away from our home and the town centre, and is going to add to the distance we will have to travel in the morning. Both my wife and I work in town and it is going to be difficult.”
Clare Roberts of Wrexham said she was ‘heartbroken’ after being unable to get her youngest son into the nursery class in the same school as his eldest brother. She said: “This was heartbreaking news for us as a family. We have found it very difficult to explain to our children why they cannot attend the same school.
“It is going to cause us severe headache to work out the logistics of being in two schools at the same time to drop off our sons and also get to work ourselves. The council don’t seem to care about this at all.”
Trudi Stott of Gwersyllt discovered that her daughter had no reception place at the school where she attended nursery class.
“It is awful to find out your child has been refused a place in the Reception class of the school she attended for a year in Nursery,” she said.
“Having to reassure a four-year-old that it is not her fault but that she won’t be able to go to the same school as her friends is the hardest thing of all.”
RhAG is now calling on Wrexham Council to address the issue with urgency rather than ‘claim it is a temporary spike in demand’.
The chairman of RhAG Wrecsam, Rhodri Davies, said: “We are devastated to hear from so many disappointed parents again this year, often they are in tears explaining the situations they face. This is having a significant impact on many families for several reasons.”
A spokesperson for Wrexham Council said: “The Council is committed to improving access to Welsh medium education as demonstrated through its investment of over £11.5m to increase provision for Welsh medium schools across the county borough with a further £1.2 million planned for additional places at our Welsh medium secondary school during the next two years.
“As a consequence we have more than sufficient places to meet the demand although this is not always in the school of choice. The admissions criteria applies to both Welsh and English medium education provision and the same problem can arise with parents who choose an English medium school.”