Campaigners say they have lost appeal over two Cardiff schools

Campaigners who opposed Cardiff council's decision to close two English-medium primary schools say they have lost a legal challenge.

Supporters of Eglwys Wen and Eglwys Newydd had sought a judicial review of the decision to close them, and expand Welsh-medium education.

Education Minister Leighton Andrews gave the plans in Whitchurch the go-ahead in January.

The council has welcomed the outcome of the legal challenge.

The campaign group Save Whitchurch challenged a decision by Mr Andrews in the High Court to shut Eglwys Wen and Eglwys Newydd in Whitchurch.

They will be replaced by a school currently shared by Eglwys Wen and Ysgol Melin Gruffydd.

The schools will shut next year to make way for additional Welsh-medium provision.

Ysgol Melin Gruffydd will transfer into the premises currently occupied by Eglwys Newydd primary, Tottenham Hotspur and Wales star Gareth Bale's former school.

A message on the Save Whitchurch website on Wednesday afternoon said: "Just to let everyone know that we have lost the appeal."

It is understood the High Court has sent a draft judgement to the interested parties, but the final judgment is not expected until the new year.

'Very best'

A Welsh government spokesperson said: "We are pleased that the court has decided to uphold the Welsh Minister's decision to approve the proposals."

Cardiff council said it was pleased the judge had decided there was no reason to quash Mr Andrews's decision.

"The judgement now means that we can continue to press ahead with the school reorganisation proposals for Whitchurch and ensure that we can create the very best local education system for all our pupils," said a spokesperson.

The local authority has said changes are needed to reduce surplus English-medium places and meet Welsh-medium education demand.

The council's proposal was passed to Mr Andrews for formal agreement following objections.

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