THE PARENT of a child at Ysgol Abersoch fears that if the school closes, the only Welsh in the village will be on postcards.
Eva Palánová, whose daughter Vera Elliston-Palánová is in Year 1 at the school, made the remark following Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet decision to issue a statutory notice on a proposal to close the school on 31 December 2021.
Eva watched the meeting, on Tuesday, 15 June, online.
Following the meeting a spokesperson for Gwynedd Council said: “The decision [to issue the statutory notice] follows detailed discussions regarding the school’s vulnerable situation due to the small number of pupils and discussions on various options on how to respond to the situation with the school’s governing body, staff and parents, then a statutory consultation on the proposal.
“There is a capacity for 32 pupils at Ysgol Abersoch, but with only eight children attending full time and two nursery pupils, 76 per cent of the school is empty.
“Projections do not indicate that there will be a significant increase in pupil numbers at Ysgol Abersoch over the next few years.
“The council has a duty to ensure that we provide the best possible education and experiences along with the best possible learning environment for our children.
“That is why we carried out a statutory consultation on the proposal, with full consideration given to the comments received during the process.
“We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the statutory consultation, including pupils, staff and governors of Ysgol Abersoch.
“As part of the proposal, pupils would be offered to attend nearby Ysgol Sarn Bach from January 2022.
“Naturally there has been a desire in the village to see the school continue, and every effort will be made to ensure that there will be a strong link between Ysgol Sarn Bach, where many pupils are already attending from Key Stage 2 age, and the Abersoch community.
“Following the Cabinet’s recent decision, an objection period will be held through releasing a statutory notice on the proposal to close the school where there will be an opportunity for anyone to submit formal objections to the proposal.”
Eva said: “No one gave us options about the future of the school and no one is answering questions about the future of the Ysgol Abersoch building. I guess we will find out in a few months when we go on Zoopla.
“The number of children is not dropping.
“I agree the council has a duty to ensure they provide the best possible education. The question is why are they not doing so and why is this whole process getting rushed so much?
“The next point on the meeting agenda was the problem of second homes. Well, surely closing schools and other important facilities is not helping to encourage families moving in.
“I am submitting a formal objection against the proposal. Once the school goes, the only Welsh will be the postcards of Abersoch in the shop.”