£24m bid to boost Welsh schooling
Plan includes building improvements:
RHONDDA Cynon Taf council wants to spend nearly £24m on increasing Welsh medium education and improving school buildings in several Cynon Valley schools.
The council’s cabinet is set to decide on proposals to spend £13m on increasing capacity at two Welsh medium schools in Cwmdare and Penywaun.
The council also proposes spending £10m on a new building for Hirwaun Primary School meaning that Penderyn Primary School would become a fully Welsh medium school and accept no new English medium admissions from August 2019.
The proposal for Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun in Penywaun would involve £10m being spent on increasing its capacity and improving educational facilities to meet the demand for Welsh medium places.
The school also serves Merthyr Tydfil and pupil numbers have been risen from 910 in 2009 to 971 this year with it forecast to reach full capacity by 2020.
The current capacity of the school is 1,038 pupils.
The plan is for a classroom extension block, and a separate sports hall containing classrooms for the PE curriculum which will increase the school’s capacity to at least 1,200 places, adding an additional 162 places to the existing number.
Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Aberdare, in Cwmdare, would see more than £3m spent on increasing capacity to meet the demand for Welsh medium places.
its pupil numbers are also increasing, having gone from 293 in 2004 to 359 this year and as the capacity of the school is 372, it has been operating at almost full capacity for around 10 years.
The council proposes removing the current double mobile classroom unit and replacing it with a permanent build four classroom extension block which will increase the pupil capacity of the school by 60 places overall. Hirwaun Primary School has a maintenance backlog of £1.9m, the biggest for any primary school in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
The council says that the type of construction makes major repairs, remodeling or refurbishment work very difficult and costly and that the most cost effective solution is considered to be a new building on the existing site.
Once the building is complete, the current school building will be demolished and be turned into parking and a play area.
The main reason for making Penderyn Primary School purely Welsh medium is because of the rising Welsh medium pupil numbers and falling English medium pupil numbers at the school.
The £23.9m will be half funded by the council and half by the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools Programme and the proposals would be completed by 2022.
Cabinet will consider the proposals when it meets this Thursday, September 20.
The council wants to spend £24m on increasing Welsh medium education and improving school buildings