School may re­main with fewer pupils

South Wales Echo - - News - AB­BIE WIGHTWICK Ed­u­ca­tion Cor­re­spon­dent ab­[email protected]­line.co.uk

A CARDIFF pri­mary threat­ened with clo­sure may be kept open with smaller num­bers of pupils af­ter par­ents protested.

Cardiff coun­cil looks set to re­view pro­pos­als to shut Glan-yr-Afon Pri­mary in Llan­rum­ney.

The rec­om­men­da­tion will be looked at when the coun­cil’s cab­i­net meets on De­cem­ber 13 and comes af­ter con­cerns raised dur­ing a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion held in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber.

Is­sues raised by par­ents dur­ing the con­sul­ta­tion in­cluded lim­ited places for their chil­dren at nearby pri­maries, the im­pact the clo­sure would have on pupils and the loss of ed­u­ca­tion pro­vi­sion in the area.

Lat­est fig­ures show 261 (19.4%) of the 1,342 pri­mary school places avail­able in Llan­rum­ney are un­filled.

In Glan-yr-Afon that pro­por­tion is sig­nif­i­cantly higher, with 140 (47.9%) of its 292 places un­filled.

The coun­cil said in a state­ment: “Pupil num­bers is a sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor in de­ter­min­ing the level of school fund­ing, so while other op­tions are be­ing ex­plored, a pro­posal to re­duce the ca­pac­ity of Glanyr-Afon to 210 places would be taken for­ward, a move in­tended to re­duce run­ning costs at the school, and to re­duce the pres­sure on its fi­nances.”

Coun­cils are bound by law to con­sult on changes to school ad­mis­sions ar­range­ments. If it is agreed the re­duc­tion in places at Glan-yr-Afon would be in­tro­duced in Septem­ber 2020 to give time for con­sul­ta­tion.

Deputy Leader of Cardiff coun­cil, and Cab­i­net Mem­ber for Ed­u­ca­tion, Em­ploy­ment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: “I said through­out the con­sul­ta­tion that we would lis­ten to the con­cerns of the Glanyr-Afon par­ents, and this rec­om­men­da­tion to keep the school open while we look at other op­tions is a clear in­di­ca­tion of that com­mit­ment.

“The is­sue of there be­ing too many pri­mary school places in Llan­rum­ney re­mains a sig­nif­i­cant cause for con­cern how­ever, plac­ing a huge fi­nan­cial strain on schools in the area.

“This is par­tic­u­larly the case in Glanyr-Afon, which has the high­est pro­por­tion of un­filled places of any school in the area.

“The size of the school, com­bined with the low num­ber of pupils, means that un­less some­thing is done, it will con­tinue to face se­vere fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties.

“Finding the right so­lu­tion to ad­dress sur­plus pri­mary school places in Llan­rum­ney is there­fore a pri­or­ity, and fur­ther op­tions will need to be ex­plored and con­sid­ered mov­ing for­ward.”

If Cab­i­net agree the rec­om­men­da­tions on De­cem­ber 13, a fur­ther re­port set­ting out de­tails of how the pro­vi­sion of pri­mary school places in Llan­rum­ney can be ad­dressed will be con­sid­ered at a later date.

ROB BROWNE

Pupils at Glan-yr-Afon Pri­mary School dur­ing a pre­vi­ous protest against the po­ten­tial clo­sure of the school

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