Cwmbran soldier’s mum fights for late son’s school

Free Press Series: FIGHTING CLOSURE: Sarah Adams, whose son Private James Prosser died while on service in Afghanistan FIGHTING CLOSURE: Sarah Adams, whose son Private James Prosser died while on service in Afghanistan

THE mother of a Cwmbran solider who was killed in Afghanistan has joined the fight to save her son’s former school from closure and is saddened that she will lose more of his history.

Sarah Adams lost her son Private James Prosser, aged 21, when he was killed in an explosion in 2009.

He was serving with 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh and was driving his Warrior vehicle in the Musa Qaleh district of Helmand Province when the tragedy happened.

Mrs Adams, from Coed Eva, has joined other parents to oppose plans to close Llantarnam School and Fairwater High School, which will be consulted on between February 17 and March 31.

She said: “We should fight to save this school. It saddens me that I will lose more of James’ history. It should be about education of children and future generations, and Llantarnam School offers good educational standards that I believe won’t be offered at Fairwater.”

The proposal will see the two schools close and a £6 million investment from Torfaen’s 21st Century Schools programme to refurbish the current Fairwater site.

She said: “James was happy at Llantarnam School and well supported by the teachers. His school years were some of the happiest.”

Torfaen council said closing Fairwater and Llantarnam Schools and creating a single secondary school should help tackle the issue of surplus places for both schools, in line with the Welsh Government target of no more than 15 per cent surplus places.

Fairwater School is proposed as the most suitable site because of its more central location.

Mrs Adams wrote to the Minister for Education and Skills Huw Lewis, MP Paul Murphy, and the leader of Torfaen council, Cllr Bob Wellington, in December explaining why Llantarnam School should be saved, but she is yet to receive a reply.

Speaking about the proposal, the executive member for children and young people, councillor Brian Mawby, said: “It provides us with the opportunity to bring together the best of both the existing schools, which will help drive up the standards of education for the benefit of pupils.”

Parents say Llantarnam School is a better option as pupils would need to be housed in temporary classrooms at the Fairwater site while the refurbishment is carried out between 2015 and 2017.

The parent group Education Action Group, set up to fight the proposal, holds a fund-raising Valentine quiz on February 14 at 7.30pm in the Oakfield Inn, Cwmbran.

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