Alun Davies visited Ferndale Community School today to hear from parents and pupils about how the Ministerial Taskforce for the South Wales Valleys could help improve prosperity in the valleys.

First published:
19 January 2017
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The taskforce is currently holding a series of public meetings across the South Wales valleys to seek the views of local communities about priorities for their local areas. Last week the Minister met with business leaders in Caerphilly and this week joined staff, parents and pupils at Ferndale Community School.

The Minister took questions on the role of the taskforce from pupils from years 9, 10, and 11, who will soon be making important decisions regarding their future. This was followed by a roundtable discussion with parents about what opportunities they feel could help their children thrive in the valleys.

Alun Davies said,

“Schools are often at the heart of local communities and can play a crucial role in creating opportunities for young people across the wider area.

“They also play a fundamental role in informing and delivering many of the aims of the taskforce and I am very grateful to Heather and her team for hosting us today. Speaking with staff, parents and pupils has given us a great deal to consider as we align our priorities for the future.”

Headteacher, Heather Nicholas, said,

“The launch of the Valleys Taskforce will hopefully provide reassurance to communities in the valleys, as the taskforce seek to address issues and barriers by working with key stakeholders and grassroots organisations to local councils and schools.    

“Community schools like Ferndale can be the centre around which the community revolves. A true community school however is more than a title. It’s having the ability and passion to relate, connect and bring all relevant stakeholders together to provide a range of programs and services to students and families and in turn improving the outlook and future of our children who will develop to become the future generation.

“We are really excited about the work of the taskforce and hope it will complement and support the work schools like ours are undertaking, beyond the school gate.”

The taskforce was established by the Minister for Lifelong Learning last year and aims to build upon work previously undertaken in the area in a more coordinated and targeted way to meet the needs of our valley communities.

To learn more about the work of the taskforce, or to sign up to attend one of the public meetings, please visit our Facebook page.