North East Wales

Wrexham Welsh school consultation prompts row

Wrexham council's Guildhall
Image caption The issues will be discussed at a Guildhall meeting in March

A war of words has erupted over whether a new Welsh medium primary school should be opened in Wrexham.

The local branch of the NASUWT teaching union is concerned it could lead to the closure of another school and job cuts.

But Wrexham council said the claims were without evidence, adding that demand for Welsh medium education had increased dramatically since 2009.

Welsh medium teaching union UCAC's local spokesman said NASUWT's comments showed a "lack of understanding".

'Waves of redundancies'

NASUWT branch secretary Stephen Witherden said the authority's efforts to support the Welsh Government's strategy of a million Welsh speakers by 2050 "is going to have enormous implications for the teaching workforce in Wrexham".

He said: "The NASUWT concern is that, the first flush of ideological enthusiasm for a new Welsh medium primary school, less than two miles from existing Welsh Medium primaries, will - in the medium term future - lead to waves of redundancies and potentially a school closure."

UCAC representative Ioan Jones said: "At best, it shows a lack of understanding or grasp of the situation as far as Welsh-medium education in Wrexham is concerned.

"At worst, perhaps it is a way of trying to undermine Welsh-medium education locally and nationally."

Councillor Phil Wynn, the council's lead member for education, said: "There is diminishing surplus capacity in our Welsh medium primary schools hence the council has consulted on establishing a new school to meet increasing parental demand."

The council consultation, which has closed, will be discussed by the ruling executive board in March.

More on this story