Campaign group to take legal action against Rhondda Cynon Taf Council

21 September 2015

Campaigners are fighting to oppose the decision made by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council to remove three sixth forms in the area and cut free transport for students.

In 2014 the council proposed a new multi-million pound super school development at Tonyrefail Comprehensive School.

As part of the new super school plans, sixth forms at Porth County Community School, Ferndale Community School and Tonypandy Community College would be removed in order to try and resolve the issue of surplus places within the schools.

Sixth form students from Tonypandy Community College and Porth High School will have to travel and attend sixth form at the super school in Tonyrefail, while sixth form students from Ferndale Comprehensive School will attend Treorchy Comprehensive School sixth form.

The reorganisation of the sixth forms is projected to finish by 2018 and would involve pupils from the ages of three to 19 joining together in a learning environment.

The campaigners have instructed one of the leading experts in Administrative and Public Law, Michael Imperato of Watkins & Gunn Solicitors to oppose the proposed plans and Mr Imperato is currently progressing legal proceedings to secure a judicial review.

Earlier this year, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council also put forward plans to cut free transport for pupils and instead charge £1.75 a day.

RCT school campaigners

It has now been decided that pupils that live between two and three miles from their secondary school and one and a half to two miles from their primary school will have to pay £1.50 a day for transport. A reduced rate of 50p a day will be available to those who have free school meals.

Campaigner Karen Roberts said: “Although there is a similar super school in Ceredigion, it has not been open long enough to gather reliable evidence that proves super schools are beneficial for the learning and development of all students.

“We fear that the wide range of ages within a learning environment may be very disruptive for the pupils involved and could have detrimental effects for their education.”

Ms Roberts continued: “Although the sixth form teachers may maintain their jobs, there is no guarantee that they will be able to continue teaching their subject at A-level. This may mean that valuable teaching staff will leave and therefore greatly affect the standard of education that the pupils will receive.”

Michael Imperato said: “It is clear that the council was well aware that it would be abolishing free transport when it put forward plans to close sixth forms in the area. Failing to mention this when the school development was proposed has essentially blindsided many of those that initially voted for the plans. Had people have known about the free transport cuts, we believe the council would have had a very different outcome.

“By progressing legal proceedings, we are hoping that the council will look into other alternatives such as amalgamating schools instead of closing sixth forms and stopping free transport for students, as this could severely affect the amount of students that continue with higher education.”

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m walsh says:

Why are we paying taxes when all rct has cut everything it’s disgusting