AM Mark Isherwood raises concerns in Welsh Assembly about the closure of John Summers High School
North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood has spoken in the Welsh Assembly Chamber this week of the “great and leading role” John Summers High School in Flintshire has played in engaging with the local Gypsy/Traveller community and improving educational outcomes for young people, and raised concerns that this was not factored into decisions over the school’s closure.
Mr Isherwood made the comments in response to a Statement in the Senedd this week by the Chair of the Children, Young People and Education Committee on ‘Future Inquiries and Management work’.
If I could just ask you two questions relating to your Statement: you refer to the Committee inquiry into the educational outcomes for Gypsy/Traveller and minority ethnic learners.
I wonder if you could tell me, did you take evidence from John Summers High School in Flintshire, which has played a great and leading role in engaging with the local Gypsy/Traveller community and improving educational outcomes for young people?
The community and the school have expressed concerns that that has not been factored into decisions over the school closure, which could adversely impact the connection with the community that’s been achieved.
“Secondly and finally, you referred to the scrutiny that will carry on with the Additional Learning Needs Bill.
You referred to children, quite rightly, being involved, and stakeholders and practitioners.
Can you confirm that parents will be involved so that you can share their practical experience and concern that this might lead, on the basis of experience to date, to rationing, if not handled properly, where the move away from Statements to School Action and School Action Plus, has, in some cases, led to a greater number of exclusions, particularly amongst children on the autistic spectrum and otherwise, and has often frustrated access to services?
The Chair replied:
As far as I’m aware, we didn’t receive any evidence from the John Summers school because our inquiry was specifically around the decision of the Welsh Government to amalgamate the funds that were given to support Gypsy/Traveller learning and minority ethnic learning into one big grant, called the Education Improvement Grant.”
In relation to Mr Isherwood’s second point, the Chair said that parents will be consulted. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com