Swansea pupils march over Daniel James School threat

Image caption,
A new head teacher has taken over at the school

Pupils at a Swansea school threatened with closure plan to march around three miles later to the comprehensive they may end up attending.

The protest has been organised by supports of Daniel James School to highlight how far youngsters will have to travel if it closes.

The council says closing the 600 pupil school would help cut surplus places.

But campaigners say new management is "turning it around" after it was placed in special measures in April.

Pupils, parents and members of the community will walk from Stembridge Avenue in Portmead to Bishop Gore School in Sketty.

They say this is where many of the pupils will go if Daniel James closes.

Campaign spokesman Nicky Symons said only those children living three miles away would qualify for free transport so many would end up either having to pay or walk each day.

"We are living in one of the most deprived areas in Swansea where many parents are already struggling to cope financially," he said.

'Turned right around'

"The time to get to school will be longer and many families who are on very limited incomes will face even more pressure.

"The risk of truancy - and anti-social behaviour - will be greater if the closure of a local, community school is replaced by a cross-city journey for pupils."

Mr Symons said although the school was placed in special measures in April due to poor standards in English, maths and science, a new head teacher had taken over.

"We are quite confident if given the time it will be turned right around - we are already seeing it," he added.

The council's cabinet member for education Mike Day said: "Any pupil who lives over three miles from their catchment school would qualify for free home to school transport.

"Transportation is an important consideration and has been raised during the consultation period.

"The issues raised are currently being analysed."

Plans to close the school were announced in September as part of a shake-up of primary, secondary and sixth-form provision in Swansea.

Mr Day said at the time the aim was to cut surplus places and improve the standard of education throughout the city.

"It'll help cut the number of wasteful surplus places that divert much-needed finances from pupils and teachers on the front-line."

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