A county council move to change the foundation phase at New Quay school into the Welsh language has been pushed forward by Cabinet members, but a plan to allow three-year-olds to enter the school part-time has been scotched after hearing concerns that the plan could force the closure of a Welsh language nursery in the town.

Last May, councillors agreed to begin the consultation process to change the medium of language to Welsh in the Foundation Phase in New Quay school, along with four others in the Aberystwyth area.

It was also proposed that New Quay School is able to admit three-year-old pupils on a part time basis.

A report into the changes put before Cabinet members on Tuesday, 19 March, says a total of 10 responses were received during the consultation “of which six supported the proposal.”

Cylch Meithrin Cei Newydd objected to the plan saying the setting “already provides a high-quality Welsh-speaking provision” and would need to consider whether it can continue to offer wrap around care to pupils with the loss of funding the plan would mean, and would impact on the “sustainability and viability” of the nursery.

Cabinet member Cllr Wyn Thomas told Cabinet members that the “situation in New Quay is very different to the other four schools (in Aberystwyth) because there is a Cylch Meithrin which has provided a Welsh service for several years.”

Cllr Thomas questioned the Cabinet recommendation and said that rather than New Quay school taking pupils at three years of age, they could take children at four, allowing the Cylch Meithrin to be able to continue to receive the three-year-old part time funding.

The meeting heard that there was a “unique situation” in New Quay that need to be accounted for, but that New Quay school was “eager” to move on with the proposals.

Cllr Gareth Davies agreed with Cllr Thomas, saying the “recommendation as is doesn’t sit comfortably with me.”

Cllr Catrin MS Davies said that losing the Cylch “would be detrimental in the long-term.”

Cllr Elizabeth Evans said it was “refreshing” that Cabinet members were listening to the concerns raised on the consultation.

The meeting heard that there were also issues with space, outside area and parking at the school, issues that don’t exist at the Cylch Meithrin.

But, the meeting heard, the available funding was for the school to create a “level playing field” of getting in pupils from three-year-old in line with new build schools in the county.

But Cabinet members pushed ahead to change the recommendation to remove the three-year-old proposal.

Under the revised plan for New Quay, four-year-olds will now move into full Welsh language education from 2025, with Year 1 following in 2026 and Year 2 in 2027.

“By September 2028 Year 3 pupils would have a sound foundation, especially orally, and would be able to build on those skills whilst also developing their skills and education through the medium of English,” documents said.

A statutory notice on the changes will now be published.