Campaigners and politicians have given a cautious welcome to the news that the ruling cabinet on Denbighshire County Council is expected to support the retention of Ysgol Pentrecelyn, after a long and bitter fight by parents and children to retain their Welsh Language Category 1 (Welsh language) status.
Denbighshire County Council had originally proposed to merge both Ysgol Pentrecelyn and Ysgol Llanfair DC on one site at Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd. The merger itself was not opposed, however parents, governors, and pupils opposed the proposal to categorise the new school as a Category 2 school, a dual –stream English and Welsh school, claiming that it was downgrading the Welsh language status of Ysgol Pentrecelyn, and that it went against the Council and the Welsh Government’s policies to increase Welsh medium education.
Parents from Pentrecelyn challenged the decision through a judicial review. The High Court made a ruling in mid-August which was critical of the Council’s consultation process, saying that it was “hopelessly confused”.
Cabinet papers for their December meeting notes, “Cabinet agrees to maintain the status quo with regards to Ysgol Pentrecelyn.” The paper also recommends developing a business case for a replacement building for Ysgol Llanfair DC. Cabinet is expected to vote on these recommendation on Tuesday, 15th November.
Ruthin based AM Llyr Gruffydd, who is also a parent and school governor at Ysgol Pentrecelyn and has campaigned for the retention of Category 1 status, said, “If the Council’s final decision reflects the recommendations in the Cabinet papers, then it will be welcomed.
“Parents at Llanfair have made it clear all along that they require a new building, and Pentrecelyn parents have been just as vociferous in calling for the retention of a Category 1 Welsh medium education. This outcome will therefore be good news for both schools and both communities.”