LISTEN: Ysgol Bodffordd – 5,000 sign Senedd petition

Campaigners have delivered a 5,000-strong petition against the closure of Ysgol Bodffordd to the Welsh Assembly.

Anglesey councillors voted in April to shut both Bodffordd and Ysgol Corn Hir – with pupils moving to a new multi-million pound superschool in nearby Llangefni.

But the decision is now set to be discussed in the Senedd after parents collected over 5,150 signatures against the closure to force a debate.

The petition was handed over to the Plaid Cymru AM for Ynys Môn, Rhun ap Iorwerth, during a Cymdeithas yr Iaith rally on the final day of the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff Bay.

Cymdeithas education spokesperson Ffred Fransis told the rally that the council had ignored the code offering more protection to rural schools in Wales, introduced last year by Education Minister Kirsty Williams.

He warned that the Bodffordd case brought democracy into disrepute and was a ‘direct challenge’ to the minister.

The council had reconsidered its proposals for three schools around the Llangefni area after securing £18 million for modernising education facilities. But following the decision in April, they said it could not justify Bodffordd’s future because of a number of factors, including standards and the pace of improvements.

Councillor Meirion Jones argued: ”If we are to provide education of the highest standards across the whole county, we must make the best possible use of Welsh Government funding available now. Unfortunately, maintaining the status quo just isn’t sustainable.”

But Llinos Thomas Roberts, the secretary of Ysgol Bodffordd’s PTA, told MônFM that the local authority did not take on board the possibility of modernising old school buildings to keep local communities closer together.

AUDIO: Llinos Thomas Roberts, talking to MônFM’s Gareth Joy at the Senedd rally.

Rhun ap Iorwerth, said he sympathised with Welsh councils trying to deliver education services with tighter resources – but also called on local authorities to be more ”imaginative and innovative” in their approach and on the Welsh Government to provide proper resources.

He added the case would be discussed by the petitions committee before being pushed forward for the debate in the Senedd chamber.

AUDIO: Rhun ap Iorwerth, Ynys Môn AM, talking to MônFM’s Gareth Joy at the Senedd rally.

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