Thursday, 3 September 2015

Logistical nightmare of getting siblings to separate schools.

This is a letter sent to the Wrexham Leader by a concerned parent about Wrexham CBC's complacency and lack of  effort to meet parental demand for Welsh Medium Education:

Dear Editor,

Another long summer holiday draws to an end as many wonder where did all that time fly. September begins and many parents in the Wrexham area delight in their pride as they don their young children in their first school uniform. With a touch of trepidation they will accompany them to the school gate and wish them all the best as they begin what is hoped will be a happy and successful time in their respective school. Such is the case in our household this year and as a family we look forward to being able to watch our daughters walk together to and home from their school, being fortunate enough to live within walking distance allowing for some regular exercise in the process.

However, I recognise that all families have not been as fortunate. As September begins there are households in Wrexham who remain uncertain how they will cope with the school commute for this year and in future years. I can only sympathise with those parents who face the logistical nightmare of ensuring that two young siblings arrive at two different primary schools before having to commute to their own place of work in the town at the height of rush hour traffic since the council's admissions policy has forced families to separate brother and sister in the primary school which they can attend. At least one other family has been offered a place by the council in a school a significant distance from their home forcing them to bypass two closer appropriate schools which they applied for. Surely the enforced separation of young siblings and a commute greater than that which is necessary is an unfair situation to place these young children, let alone an unreasonable challenge to set working families.

Alas, not so. The council maintain that their admissions policy is appropriate. That it is perfectly acceptable to enforce the separation of brothers and sisters in relation to the primary school which they attend, and quadrupling the distance a family must travel to reach school in comparison to their nearest local school is reasonable. Indeed, the editorial of this paper has in the past indicated its view that these parents should familiarise themselves with the nuances of admissions policy and accept the reality of education services in Wrexham entails the enforced separation of siblings and travelling past schools where friends from their community are attending to begin their education outside of their village on the other side of town with not a single familiar face in the classroom.

Realising that this is the reality of the council's admission policy and its impact on 3 and 4 year olds, I find it difficult to recognise the policy as reasonable, adequate and fair.

Yours sincerely,

Rhodri Davies

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