Community of Ysgol Heol Goffa left outraged by Council’s decision to axe plans seven years in the making

THE Plaid-run Carmarthenshire County Council decision to axe plans for a new special school in Llanelli for children with additional learning needs and profound learning difficulties has outraged both parents staff and has led to accusations of ‘inhumane’ and ‘scandalous’ treatment of these vulnerable children.

This highly respected school which has been left to deteriorate with little investment by the County Council, is now overcrowded and bursting at the seams with 124 pupils filling 75 places.

It is a testament to the love and care of the Headmistress and the wonderful staff that they can provide such a welcoming, inclusive and supportive environment despite the lack of investment by the County Council in our most vulnerable children.

Parents and Teachers describe it as a ’Community, a Family, offering friendship, support, respite and wrap around care for people who have to fight the System every inch of

the way just to get recognised for the correct education for their children which the rest of us regard as a human right, which is being denied to so many.’

It speaks volumes that it is so oversubscribed and so needed.

There are children waiting 2 years to have a place at the school who are not being education

ally stretched in the Primary School settings where we have so many stranded in a wilderness, that despite the best efforts of our teachers, are being failed because the necessary facilities are not available to them.

Dame Nia Griffith, Labour’s candidate for Llanelli in the forthcoming General Election, is backing a Parent-led action group campaign urging the council to rethink its controversial decision to ditch a promised new school for Ysgol Heol Goffa.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

‘The way they have treated the parents, the children and the staff is inhumane.

‘The senior Plaid Cabinet members and Education staff weren’t even intending to visit the school to explain what’s happening but campaigners at a recent meeting, have already won a battle in forcing the Leader of the County Council and the Cabinet Member for Education and senior officers to visit the school on June 6th for the first time, despite making a decision to abandon the project.’

I am hopeful that the people of Llanelli and district will rally behind this campaign and take people power to another level to force a rethink by signing in their thousands to show the special place that this incredible school has in the heart of the community.’

Dame Nia paid tribute to all those who have backed the campaign for the new school to date.

‘I would like to say a massive thank you to all the parents and staff and friends of Ysgol Heol Goffa who have shown their support for the campaign for a new school,’ she said.

Thousands of people have signed and are signing a petition, both online and on hard copy petition forms, throughout Llanelli calling on Carmarthenshire to keep its seven-year promise of a new school for Ysgol Heol Goffa.


Plaid abandoned the 7 year old plans for a new Ysgol Heol Goffa school on the land already cleared and owned by the County Council, behind Ysgol Penrhos, near the Pentre Awel Wellness Village, claiming costs had doubled to in excess of 30 million pounds since the party originally vowed – in 2017 – that the scheme would go-ahead.

The Leader of the Council has since admitted that just one tender was received for the project and that the Welsh Government had originally offered to meet 75 per cent of the cost of the new school.

Questions were asked at the recent Public meeting of the Parents as to why the tender process is not more robust and competitive when the costs doubled in 2 years and why was the quote not reviewed or the project re-tendered but no explanation has been given.

According to Senedd sources there has been no pressure, no conversation with the Welsh Government from the County Council even to ask for more money, and there has been no pressure from the Welsh Government to cancel the school.’

Town councillor Andrew Bragoli, who represents the Lliedi ward where the school is based, said: ‘We have enough children in our urban area of Llanelli and Kidwelly and Burry Port to make this new school viable

We want thousands of local people to sign the petition to show their support for the school which has a tremendous spirit and a unique learning atmosphere.

The County Council seem to be threatening to split up the school. That would be a terrible crime in my opinion.’

He added that some children were having to wait ‘years and years’ for assessments before they could get into Ysgol Heol Goffa or have the education provision they were entitled to.

‘They only have one chance of an education and it is arguable that on an individual basis parents may have a case that the rights of their children have been breached.

So the County Council could be breaking the law,’ said councillor Bragoli.

Llanelli town councillors raised the plight of Ysgol Heol Goffa with the Children’s Commissioner for Wales in Llanelli on Thursday and she has promised to write to the County Council to request its  reasons for the decision,’ said councillor Bragoli.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Labour Group is also united in its support of a new school with enhanced capacity to replace Ysgol Heol Goffa.

Following a packed public meeting at the Selwyn Samuel Centre, a Parent-led Action group is being set up, which also includes the County Councillors for Lliedi ward, Councillors Rob James and Anthony Leyshon.

Councillor Leyshon said: ‘We will fight this cruel decision tooth and nail.

‘It is a mean-spirited, cruel decision to pick on the most vulnerable and voiceless members of our society. ‘These are children who need the most help.’

‘What sort of council kicks their vulnerable children in the teeth leaving them bloodied and bowed, with no voice to fight for the correct education that they are entitled to?

Swansea is spending 45 million pounds on a new special school and Pembrokeshire is also building a special school with a similar investment for the future.

‘It seems Carmarthenshire is neglecting our most disadvantaged children and that is morally wrong.’

Please donate here: Support Carmarthenshire News Online Thank you for supporting independent journalism and contributing to the future of local news in Carmarthenshire. Carmarthenshire News Online has been dedicated to providing unbiased and trustworthy news, free from commercial or political influence. By donating as little as £1, you can help ensure the continuation of this important source of information for the community. Your contribution will have a significant impact on the sustainability of independent journalism. If you're looking to enhance your brand's visibility, we also offer advertising opportunities on our Livestream and podcasts. Our special offers provide excellent value for reaching our engaged audience. To learn more about these opportunities and to discuss your advertising needs, please feel free to call or text us at 07308598604. Thank you again for your support, and together we can ensure the availability of quality local news for Carmarthenshire and beyond.

Please donate here: Support Carmarthenshire News Online

You cannot copy any content of this page