On Friday Stephen Kinnock met with residents from the Upper Afan Valley about the proposals for Cymer Afan Comprehensive, following that he and David Rees AM met with Councillors Scott Jones and Nicola-Jayne Elsie Davies, and former Assembly Member Brian Gibbons. After the meetings Stephen Kinnock and David Rees issued the following statement:
“Cymer Afan is the beating heart of the local community in the Upper Afan Valley. Generations of families from Cymmer, Croeserw, Gwynfi and Glyncorrwg have been educated at the school.
“Everybody recognises that there is a need to address the pupil to teacher ratio, which is why a radical, creative and compelling alternative is needed, and we know the community is working hard to find a solution to deliver 21st century education for the whole of the Upper Afan Valley in the Upper Afan Valley.
“Time and time again the communities in the Upper Afan Valley have shown their resilience and resourcefulness, whether it be over the Noddfa Community centre, Cymmer Library, Gwynfi Miners Hall or Cymmer Swimming pool, they have always risen to the challenge.
“This resilience and resourcefulness is already hard at work, devising a viable alternative to the proposals from the Council that would secure the best possible education for children living in the Upper Afan Valley. A 3-16 community hub school would deliver the economies of scale needed, would drive up standards and is the best option for keeping an education provision in the Upper Afan Valley.
“The recently published report from the Social Mobility Commission ranked Neath Port Talbot as having the lowest level of social mobility in Wales, as compared to the 21 other local authorities. We know that the only way to improve social mobility is investment in education.”