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DYFED CC IN HIGH COURT ROW OVER WELSH LANGUAGE SCHOOLS

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Three English-speaking school-children living in a remote part of Dyfed who have been refused free transport to an ...
Three English-speaking school-children living in a remote part of Dyfed who have been refused free transport to an English-speaking school, face an anxious wait for the outcome of their case in London's High Court.

Mr Justice May reserved his decision in the children's case and is expected to deliver judgement on Friday. The children, two girls aged eight and five and a boy aged seven, are fighting a critical test case against Dyfed CC. Through their mother, the children challenge the decision of the Council's Schools and School Services Sub- Committee on May 27 this year to refuse them free transport for the ten-mile trip from their home to the school chosen for them by their parents.

Their counsel, Mr David Pannick QC, told the court that the case raised 'the important issue of whether an education mainly in Welsh is suitable for children whose main language is English'. At the centre of the case lies a policy change adopted by the council in September 1989. Since that date Dyfed schools had been categorised either A, B, or C, according to the priority they placed on the teaching of the Welsh language.

The school nearest the children's home is a Category A school where the syllabus is taught principally in Welsh. The eldest girl was attending that school but by the Autumn term of 1989, was suffering 'learning difficulties' as a result of being taught mainly in Welsh, said her mother. The girl was transferred to a Category A/B school ten miles from their home where Welsh is a less dominant teaching medium and her younger brother and sister later followed her. It is transport to that school which Dyfed CC has refused to fund.

Mr Pannick claimed the Council had 'erred in law' and it was perverse of the council to conclude that it was suitable to send the youngest girl, aged five and hitherto educated in English, to a Category A school where she would be taught 90% in Welsh, he added.
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