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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 April 2006, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
More rural schools face closure
Parents protest at school closures
The 'Modernising Education' plan has sparked protests
Three rural primary schools in Carmarthenshire face closure in the next round of plans to tackle spare places in the county.

Cwmgwili, Mynyddcerrig and New Inn would shut within a year, under council plans discussed on Wednesday.

The education authority said all had too few pupils and there were problems attracting senior teachers.

But some parents have vowed to fight the closures while parent governors say the council has ignored their views.

Meeting on Wednesday the council's executive board gave the go-ahead to start the consultation process on closing all three.

The move is part of a 10-year programme in the county that could see up to 32 schools closed and replaced with new area "super schools".

Other councils in Wales are also reviewing schools in the wake of spare places.

Draft plans in Cardiff published earlier this month propose closing 17 schools to tackle 8,000 spare places.

At one school, St Anne's Primary in Cathays, parents have called in lawyers in an effort to stop the council closing it.

Parents in Newport were also meeting on Wednesday to try to keep open the Roman Catholic school St David Lewis in the Bettws area, which is slated for closure next year.

Some parents are talking about teaching their children at home
Suzanne Morgan

Carmarthenshire council said there were just 10 pupils left at Cwmgwili which would shut by next January.

New Inn was not originally earmarked for closure but the authority said there had been a significant drop in projected numbers and a recent advertisement for the head teachers post had failed to attract a single applicant.

'Serious discussion'

The head teacher at Mynyddcerrig recently retired and the school, which has 13 pupils, was put into special measures last year after an Estyn inspection.

Mynyddcerrig parent governor Matt Dicks said he was "disgusted and disappointed" the council had released plans to close the school without informing the governing body.

Pupils protest from Mynyddcerrig school
Mynyddcerrig has been under threat of closure for over a year

"It is appalling to think that, despite giving hours of free time to support our school, the first we knew of serious developments is when we were questioned by journalists."

Parent Suzanne Morgan said: "From where I live there are no pavements leading to the nearest school out of the village so it would not be safe to walk.

"Some parents are talking about teaching their children at home while others will have to drive them to a school that is three miles away and there are already too many cars on the roads."

Cymdeithas yr Iaith (The Welsh Language Society) said it would be distributing "thousands" of leaflets opposing the plans in rural communities throughout the county.

Spokeswoman Angharad Clwyd said the council had no intention of "seriously discussing" its plans.

"This council has a vicious desire to defeat local communities instead of working with them," she said.

"It is reminiscent of the way in which the Government plotted pit closures in the same area."

"The children still have to be educated"

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