RCT Council has never been particularly interested in Welsh medium education, no matter who is in charge here. Strange given that the first Welsh medium secondary school in South Wales was in Pontypridd - Ysgol Gyfun Rhydfelen
The demand is outstripping the availability and parents across the county are being told they will have to make alternative arrangements for their children. Why? Thus is nothing new, this has been coming to a head for years and successive Labour and Plaid administrations have done nothing about it.
RCT came into being in 1996 and Labour Councillors generally speaking were very suspicious of those who wanted to see more Welsh medium schools – after all they were sure to be Plaid voters weren’t they? Wouldn’t want them muddying the gene pool spreading their propaganda.
When Plaid Cymru took control in 1999 there was an expectation amongst parents of children attending and planning to attend Welsh medium schools that things would improve. They could hardly get worse. YG Rhydfelen was falling down and the only chance for a replacement seemed to be PFI. YG Cymmer was equally neglected, and there simply were not enough places available to meet the expected demand.
Plaid however did very little. They did carry on with the PFI bid and build a new schools at Garth Olwg. This campus encompassed not only the secondary school but provided a new primary school. But it is too small, just a couple of years after it opened it is already full to bursting.
A new school was promised at Miskin to help meet the demand. Yet instead the Council decided to close YGG Llantrisant and make the new school a replacement for that. The result? It too is full already.
Welsh medium education always seems to come a poor second. Far less money is spent per pupil there than in English medium schools. Nobody seems to have the foresight or the willingness to look ahead and plan properly. But then the same can be said with regard to a lot of things in RCT.