The school in Llanddarog is a Church in Wales voluntary controlled school, one of twenty-five in the Diocese of St Davids, for children aged 4 to 11. The school currently has 68 pupils. It is a Category a schools, i.e. designated as a Welsh School. Welsh is the main medium of the life and work in nursery and infant phases in order to establish a sound foundation for pupils in the language.
Welsh is also the main medium of the life and work in the junior phase with English introduced as pupils transfer from the infant to junior phase so that pupils have the opportunity to develop an equal competence in both languages by the time they leave the primary school.
The Headmaster, Mrs Meinir Jones can be contacted on 01267 275242 and by post to the Llanddarog VC School, Llanddarog, Carmarthenshire SA32 8BJ
What is a Voluntary Controlled School?
The 1944 Butler Education Act finally established a national system of free primary, secondary and further education, funded by the rates and national government. Prior to this Act, education was provided by “Board schools” paid for by local rates and by voluntary schools, which were partly supported by local rates and government grants but which also relied heavily on voluntary contributions from parishes and individuals.
The 1944 Education Act introduced two categories of voluntary schools, the voluntary aided school and the voluntary controlled school, most of which were Church schools.
Those schools which chose to come under the control of the Local Education Authority, came into the category of voluntary controlled schools. In these schools, the Local Education Authority now became responsible for all the expenses of the school. It also took responsibility for the appointment of all but a very small number of teachers and for seeing that religious instruction was, for the most part, to be in accordance with the agreed syllabus. However, the daily act of collective worship was to continue to be conducted in accordance with the requirements laid out in the school’s trust deed. The school buildings continued to be owned by the voluntary body but the responsibility for maintaining the buildings now fell to the Local Education Authority. The Church’s historic interest and continued involvement in the school was acknowledged and guaranteed by the appointment of a minority number of foundation governors to the school’s board of managers.
This division of voluntary schools into aided (there are 9 voluntary controlled schools in the Diocese of St Davids) and controlled continues today and nothing has been taken away from the roles and responsibilities of governors in either categories from those laid down in the 1944 Education Act. Many more, however, have been added.
Who appoints foundation governors?
Since the 1944 Education Acts, successive governments have recognized the responsibilities of the trustees of Church schools to ensure that the long-term future of Church school education is secure. The trustees of Church in Wales schools in this diocese are the Diocesan Board of Finance and the Endowed Schools Committee. They have the legal right to appoint foundation governors to our schools, but this right has been delegated to the Diocesan Education Team, which is the Diocesan Education Authority. The Education Team appoints foundation governors for a period of four years after consultation with the Parochial Church Council of the parish in which the school is sited.
What is the role of a foundation governor?
All governors of aided or controlled schools work as a team and in close co-operation with the head teacher and all the staff. Together the governors and staff contribute to the ethos of the school. Foundation governors share with all the other governors the legal responsibilities of the governing body in running and managing the school in order to provide the best education for all its pupils. However, foundation governors have the additional responsibilities of ensuring:
• that the interests of the Church in Wales are safeguarded, and that the religious character of the school is preserved;
• that the collective worship of the school is conducted in accordance with the requirements of the trust deed;
• that in a voluntary aided school, the religious education curriculum follows the Religious Education Syllabus of the Church in Wales;
• in controlled schools, denominational religious education is available if parents request its provision.
• that the appropriate Section 50 Inspection is undertaken at or about the same time that the school undergoes it’s Estyn inspection.
Foundation governors represent the trustees who appointed them and have a legal duty to protect the interests of the trustees. They play a leading role in the life of the school and have the right to be supported by the Church community, and particularly that of their own parish, and by the Diocesan Education Team.
Further information on the role of the foundation governor can be found in the booklet “Foundation Governors and the Church School” available free of charge from the Diocesan Director of Education.
How do I get my child a place in a Church school?
In voluntary controlled schools the admissions authority is the local authority, which has the responsibility for drawing up and applying the admissions policy and appeals procedure for both voluntary controlled and community schools. For Llanddarog VC School, the admissions authority is Carmarthenshire County Council.