CITY PRIMARY SCHOOLS FACE CLOSURE IN £12.7M SHAKEUP
TWO primary schools could close and others be expanded as part of a £12.7m reorganisation in the city of Bangor.
Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet will discuss proposals to shut the 28 pupil Ysgol Coed Mawr and the 41 pupil Ysgol Glanadda, while answering growing demands in the Penrhosgarnedd area of the city.
The authority is proposing a new school buillding for Ysgol y Garnedd, which would increase its capacity to 420. At present the school has 305 pupils on the books despite only being designed for 210.
This has been described by Gwynedd Council as “unsustainable,” with the latest Estyn inspection noting: “Although rooms in the building are very confined for pupil numbers, the school makes good use of the site through careful organisation and the pupils’ good discipline”.
The report, to be discussed on March 13, also recommends carrying out a pre-consultation with the Church in Wales over improvements and increasing the capacity of Ysgol y Faenol to 315 pupils from its current 186.
Neither of the schools earmarked for closure currently have a permanent headteacher, with the cabinet report outlining that pupil numbers at both schools are the lowest in 25 years.
Glanadda is also described as a “Victorian stone building,” with Coed Mawr said to be requiring re-wiring, refurbishment to the flat roofs, new windows and work to the kitchen.
According to the authority, the £12.7m earmarked for the city includes a £6.3m contribution from the Welsh Government and £1.1m from Redrow builders, as part of an agreement for the new much debated Goetre Uchaf housing estate in Penrhosgarnedd.
Education Cabinet Member Cllr Gareth Thomas said the move will boost Welsh language education in the city while providing 21st century facilities.
“While accepting that any option which considers the closure of sites is a difficult decision, I feel the option before us offers an opportunity to improve the educational provision in Bangor and gives us an opportunity to strengthen Welsh language provision in the city,” he said.
If the Cabinet supports the recommendation, the next key step will be a statutory consultation on the affected schools.