Labour AMs welcome Welsh medium school investment in Neath Port Talbot

David Rees, Assembly Member for Aberavon, and Jeremy Miles, Assembly Member for Neath have today welcomed the announcement that the Welsh Government have invested in Welsh medium education in Neath Port Talbot by building a new 21st Century School in Port Talbot which will cater for 650 pupils aged 11-16. The school, which will be known as Ystalyfera South, and is a satellite of Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera in the Swansea Valley, will cater for pupils that attend Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Rhos Afan, Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tyle’r Ynn and Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Castell-Nedd and will provide these pupils with state of the art facilities housed in a brand new school building. This is major commitment to Welsh Medium education in Neath Port Talbot and is the first Welsh medium comprehensive school to be purpose built in the authority.

This announcement will be welcomed by parents of those pupils who will be attending the school, who were extremely concerned with the plans put forth initially to simply refurbish Sandfields Comprehensive School to accommodate the New Ystalyfera South site. This investment, will lead to a brand new 21st Century school building and up to date facilities for the pupils who, from September 2018 will attend Ystalyfera South. The announcement will now lead to a 12 month delay in the opening of the school, with current year 5 pupils attending Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera for year 7 and transferring to Ystalyfera South for year 8.

In addition to this investment, the current Welsh medium school at Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera has secured funding through the 21st Century schools programme for improvements; this includes a new teaching block which will consist of Science and ICT laboratories, a Design and Technology suite, teaching classrooms and a learning centre.

David Rees AM said; “Children in the south of the county will have access to a state of the art building which will provide first class education through the Welsh Language.  This is an exciting time for both our language and education provision within Port Talbot.”

Jeremy Miles AM added; “This is an exciting development for pupils and parents from Neath, building on Welsh Labour’s commitment to Welsh Medium education. Pupils will have access to some of the best facilities and this can only enhance their time in school.”