Agenda Item No.
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
LEARNING AND CULTURE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE: 3 OCTOBER 2016
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 4 JULY 2016
C3230 PROPOSAL TO ESTABLISH NEW MIXED-SEX SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN BARRY (RE) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LEARNING AND CULTURE) -
Approval was sought to consult stakeholders on a proposal to establish two mixed sex English medium secondary education facilities in Barry.
Following consideration of responses to a previous consultation, Cabinet decided at its meeting of 5 October 2015 to establish an Advisory Board to review options, with particular regard to the option of establishing two mixed sex English medium secondary schools as well as addressing the need to expand Welsh medium secondary school places.
Having considered feedback from engagement activity carried out with the public, pupils, staff and governors of Barry and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive schools and Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg, the Board considered options for the future of the three schools and agreed that the preferred option was to:
i) Expand Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg on its current site with the provision of new entrance from Port Road
ii) Build a new 11-18 mixed sex school on the site of Barry Comprehensive School
iii) Create a modern, 11-18 mixed sex school by refurbishing and modernising the Bryn Hafren site with the provision of some new facilities.
There were a number of drivers for transforming the current single sex English medium secondary school provision in Barry which were detailed in the report and covered the topics of Surplus Places, Condition of School Buildings and School Standards. The Council had engaged with local children, students, parents, staff and governors on a number of occasions through formal consultation and through the recent engagement activity to inform the work of the Advisory Board. This had indicated that most people who had expressed a view favoured a move to mixed sex (co-educational) education.
A number of high level options were identified based on the premise that two mixed sex English medium secondary schools should be provided and the number of Welsh medium secondary school places would be expanded. A number of options were considered and summarised in the report with the preferred option being to Expand Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg on its current site and establish two 11-18 mixed sex English medium secondary schools on the Barry and Bryn Hafren sites with a joint 6th form. This required the discontinuation of the current Barry and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive Schools. It was considered that this option would best meet the desired outcomes identified by the board, as listed in paragraph 38 of the report.
To this end, the report considered the future Learning Environment, Post 16 Provision, Support for Learners with Additional Learning Needs, Community Facilities, Leadership, Transition and the Statutory Process that must be followed if the proposal was approved by Cabinet.
At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education commented that she was delighted to bring this report forward which she hoped would be the start of the process to bring transformational change to English Medium Secondary Education in Barry.
This was a matter for Executive decision
Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein
(1) T H A T the Director of Learning and Skills, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education, be authorised to undertake consultation from 5 September, 2016 on a proposal to replace Barry and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive Schools in September 2018 with two mixed-sex, English medium secondary schools, each with 1,100 places for pupils between the ages of 11 to 18 years.
(2) T H A T it be noted the implementation of the proposal would be subject to the consideration of responses to consultation and to the relevant statutory processes and also that investment would be subject to the availability of capital funding from Welsh Government.
(3) T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee Learning and Culture for consideration as part of the forthcoming consultation exercise.
(4) T H A T a further report on the outcome of the consultation be brought to Cabinet for consideration.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To assess the level of support for the proposal to establish two mixed sex 11-18 Comprehensive schools in Barry.
(2) To assess the views and comments of those consulted.
(3) To ensure the Scrutiny Committee Learning and Culture was consulted on the proposal.
(4) To ensure Cabinet was aware of the views and comments of those consulted when deciding whether or not to publish a statutory notice in due course.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 4 July 2016