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Mid-Pembrokeshire Welsh med schools catchment extensions agreed

A CALL to extend the catchment areas for two mid-Pembrokeshire Welsh Medium schools has been backed by senior councillors.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet, at its October 2 meeting, was asked to approve extensions to the catchment areas of Llandissilio’s Welsh Medium Ysgol Brynconin and Welsh Medium Ysgol Maenclochog.

In 2020, Ysgol Brynconin joined in a formal federation with Ysgol Maenclochog and a single senior management team and governing body oversees both schools.

Ysgol Brynconin’s current catchment overlaps a number of electoral wards, Maenclochog, Narberth Rural, Lampeter Velfrey, Martletwy and Wiston, similarly Maenclochog, Wiston, Crymych and Mynachlog-Ddu, Bro Gwaun, Martletwy, Cilgerran and Eglwyswrw for Ysgol Maenclochog.

It was proposed, from September 2024, the catchment area for Ysgol Brynconin is extended westwards into the St Aidans Church in Wales VA School catchment area, and south and eastwards into the Tavernspite Community Primary School catchment area, with Ysgol Maenclochog extended south and westwards into the St Aidans Church in Wales VA School catchment area.

A consultation on the proposal to extend the catchment area for the two schools was undertaken in June and July.

Ysgol Brynconin. Picture: Google Street View.

Pupils living within the new catchment areas of Ysgol Brynconin and Ysgol Maenclochog and more than two miles away from the school, will be entitled to free school transport, estimated at £1,750 per pupil.

A report for members stated: “Given the school’s capacity, current and forecast numbers on roll, and the likely extent of yield from current and planned housing developments, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that extending the catchment area can be comfortably accommodated at both Ysgol Brynconin and Ysgol Maenclochog.

“On the basis of an analysis of parental preference in the area, there is already evidence of pupils from the St Aidan’s CiW VC School and Tavernspite Community School catchment areas attending Ysgol Brynconin [and pupils from the St Aidan’s catchment area attending Ysgol Maenclochog]; extending the catchment area will therefore merely formalise access to the school in the future.”

The catchment areas for St Aidan’s and Tavernspite schools will remain unchanged for English medium primary education provision.

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Cabinet members unanimously approved the proposed changes, after Cabinet Member for Education and Welsh Language Cllr Guy Woodham moved approval.