Agenda Item No
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting: 28th April 2014
Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services
Outcome of the Statutory Notice on the proposed expansion of Ysgol Gwaun y Nant from a 210 place to 420 place school to meet the growing demand for Welsh medium education in the Barry area
Purpose of the Report
1. To advise Cabinet of the conclusion of the Statutory Notice to expand Ysgol Gwaun y Nant from a 210 place to 420 place school.
1. That Cabinet notes that no objections have been received to the published Statutory Notice to expand Ysgol Gwaun y Nant.
2. To determine the proposal to expand Ysgol Gwaun y Nant from a 210 place to 420 place school subject to Cabinet approval and Welsh Government grant funding being awarded from the 21st Century Schools Programme.
Reasons for the Recommendations
1. The Local Authority is required to determine its own proposals under the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 and subsequent School Organisation Code 2013.
2. To approve the expansion of Ysgol Gwaun y Nant from a 210 place to 420 place school to meet parental demand for Welsh medium education in the Barry area subject to Welsh Government grant funding being awarded from the 21st Century Schools Programme.
2. The Local Authority has a statutory duty to meet parental demand for Welsh medium education in its area.
3. There has been a significant increase in demand for Welsh medium places across the Vale since 2009 that led to the opening of two new Welsh medium schools in September 2011 in Llantwit Major and Barry.
4. The growth in demand for Welsh medium places has continued since 2011 across the Vale and particularly in the Barry area.
5. Following consultation with all relevant stakeholders, on 24 February 2014 Cabinet approved the publication of a statutory notice to expand Ysgol Gwaun y Nant from a 210 place to a 420 place school.
6. A statutory notice was published on the 5th March 2014 for a period of 28 days to allow for objections as required by the requirements of the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 and the School Organisation Code 2013. The statutory notice period of 28 days expired on 2 April 2014.
7. The notice was published on the Vale website and posted on the main entrance to the school. Copies of the notice were distributed to pupils, parents, carers and guardians, and staff members. All organisations required under the School Organisation Code 2013 were e-mailed a link to the published notice on the Vale website and also provided with a copy as an attachment to the e-mail.
8. Where objections are received an objection report must be published summarising the statutory objections and the proposer's response to those objections.
9. Council agreed at its meeting on the 5th March 2014 that the determination of school organisation proposals is a function of the Cabinet.
Relevant Issues and Options
10. During the statutory notice period no objections to the proposal to expand Ysgol Gwaun y Nant to a 420 place school were received by the Vale of Glamorgan Council. There is therefore no requirement to publish an objection report as part of the proposal.
11. In accordance with the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 and subsequent School Organisation Code 2013, the Vale of Glamorgan Council is required to determine the proposal within 16 weeks of the end of the objection period.
12. 50% of the funding for the proposal is expected to be provided through Band A of the Welsh Government's 21st Century Schools Programme. The funding is subject to final approval by the Welsh Government Capital Investment Panel which will meet on the 22 April 2014 to consider the Business Justification Case for the proposal.
13. The proposal will meet the increased demand for Welsh medium provision in the Barry area in future and ensure statutory requirements are met. The proposal will involve the building of a new pattern book design school for Oak Field Primary and remodel the school building currently occupied by both Gwaun y Nant and Oak Field schools to increase capacity to 420 places for Ysgol Gwaun y Nant.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
14. The expansion of Ysgol Gwaun y Nant will involve the provision of a new pattern book design school for Oak Field Primary and remodelling the existing school building to increase capacity to 420 places for Ysgol Gwaun Y Nant which is estimated to cost £3,645,000. 50% of the estimated cost will be met through the Welsh Governments 21st Century Schools Programme (subject to final approval), the remaining 50% is identified within the Council's capital programme 2014/15-2018/19.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
15. New build elements of the scheme will meet BREEAM excellent rating significantly reducing the running costs and carbon emissions arising from the building.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
16. Powers for councils to determine school organisation proposals derive from the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013.
17. If approved, the determination to expand Ysgol Gwaun y Nant will comply with the requirements of The Schools Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 and the School Organisation Code, Statutory Code Document no. 006/2013.
Crime and Disorder Implications
18. There are no direct crime and disorder implications as a result of this report.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
19. The expansion of Ysgol Gwaun y Nant will meet parental demand for Welsh Medium primary education in Barry. The new building for Oak Field Primary school will provide excellent educational facilities for children living in a neighbourhood that experiences higher levels of socio-economic deprivation.
20. The expansion of Ysgol Gwaun y Nant and new building for Oak Field Primary progresses the Corporate Plan 2013-17 objective LS2: to 'Develop, consult on and implement a School Reorganisation Programme to ensure the right schools are provided in the right places.'
21. The schemes detailed in this report contribute towards service outcome 3, objective 9 'Learners have access to an appropriate range of quality provision' of the Learning and Skills Directorate Service Plan 2013/17.
Policy Framework and Budget
22. This is a matter for Executive decision by the Cabinet.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
23. Ward Member consultation has been undertaken.
24. Public consultation with all interested parties in accordance with legislation has been carried out regarding the expansion of Ysgol Gwaun y Nant.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
25. Lifelong Learning.
Principal Officer, Strategy, Community Learning and Resources
Paula Ham - Head of Strategy, Community Learning and Resources
Mark Haynes - School Organisation and Buildings Manager
Chief Learning and Skills Officer