Parents fight 'cruel' Cardiff school closure plan

Pupils demonstrate against plans to close Glan-yr-Afon primary school in Cardiff Image copyright Kelly Wall
Image caption Pupils joined a demonstration in July against plans to close the school

Parents at a Cardiff school whose head teacher has been convicted of a sex attack are fighting plans to close it.

Local councillors claim Glan-yr-Afon primary school in Llanrumney has been underfunded and was suffering from a lack of permanent leadership.

But Cardiff council said the school was only half full and surplus places were putting a "huge strain" on resources.

Former head Kevin Thomas is awaiting sentence for sexually assaulting a woman in his office.

He was suspended in 2016.

Julie Thomas, who has seen four children go through the school and has a grandson there now, said the closure plan was "cruel".

"We have had problems with heads in the school - we've had different heads over a maximum of three years," she told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"It's a lovely school and we need a chance."

Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Campaign supporters include interim head Karen Brown (third from right) and Julie Thomas (right)

Interim head teacher Karen Brown said she had been "really impressed" by the parents' campaign against closure.

A petition of more than 370 signatures was presented to a full meeting of Cardiff council on Thursday.

Llanrumney's three Labour councillors - former council leader Heather Joyce, Lee Bridgeman and Keith Jones - have also objected to the closure plan drawn up by their party colleagues who run Cardiff council.

They claimed there had been a "chronic historic lack of investment" at the school, and in education in general in one of the poorest areas of the city.

The lack of a permanent head teacher had also "dramatically undermined" the running of the school, they added.

Deputy council leader Sarah Merry - responsible for education - said no decision had been taken yet to close the school.

But she added: "Having a half-empty school is simply not an option in the long run."

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