PARENTS applauded as Torfaen council’s cabinet made arrangements for Welsh primary school places.

Torfaen council gave approval to make temporary arrangements for Ysgol Panteg, Ysgol Gymraeg Cwmbran and Ysgol Bryn Onnen for September 2014 and September 2015 to ensure that the council can meet its statutory duty to provide Welsh Medium primary age education.

The cabinet were informed that the demand for places in Welsh Medium primary schools for 2014 exceeds the number of places currently available.

Also the delivery of a replacement school for Ysgol Panteg on the Avesta site, at the former Panteg Steelworks, has been delayed until September 2016.

Temporary arrangements at Ysgol Panteg, Ysgol Gymraeg Cwmbran and Ysgol Bryn Onnen for 2014 and 2015 will ensure sufficient places are available.

Ysgol Panteg was established as a Welsh medium Primary School in Griffithstown in September 2010, to provided a short to medium term solution to growing demand.

The council submitted an outline business case to Welsh Government in April 2013 to build a new 420 place Welsh Medium primary school on the Avesta site to replace the current Ysgol Panteg to meet demand.

The school was planned to open from September 2015, but the delay in getting approval from Welsh Government means that it is a year behind.

The current Ysgol Panteg site is close to its capacity of 179 places and additional space will be required for September 2014.

Following yesterday's cabinet decision, the arrangements for September 2014 are Ysgol Panteg to use its current site along with using Kemys Fawr Infant School, which is closing this year, for reception, year one and year two.

Ysgol Gymraeg Cwmbran will use a double demountable to allow admission of 64 children, and Ysgol Bryn Onnen will accommodate 34 children.

Overall these arrangements will cost £300,000 from the 21st Century Schools Programme.

Cabinet member for Torfaen for children and young people, Cllr Brian Mawby, said: “The only option I see fit is the one to use Kemys Fawr School.

“No doubt some members of the community will see conspiracy in this but it was not planned.”

After the cabinet agreed the recommendations, the parents in the public gallery, mainly from Ysgol Panteg, applauded.