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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 09 March, 2015

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Schools

Proposal to create a 1,361 all through school through the amalgamation of Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg and Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg by closing Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg and extending the age range of Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg

Purpose of the Report

1. To advise Cabinet of the outcome of the Statutory Notice on the proposal and the subsequent process to be followed which would allow a determination to be made.

Recommendations

1. Cabinet notes that no objections have been received to the published Statutory Notice to amalgamate Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg and Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg.

 

2. Cabinet approves the implementation of the proposal to amalgamate Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg and Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg from 1 September 2015.

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. Following the completion of a period of statutory notice, a decision is required on whether to proceed to implement the proposal to amalgamate Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg and Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg.

Background

2. The Council has a duty to review the number and type of schools in the area and to make the best use of resources to raise standards in schools.

 

3. On 18th February 2014, the Chair of Governors and Headteacher of Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg and Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg contacted the Council and requested that the schools be amalgamated, following a resolution of the full Governing Body on 27th November 2013.

 

4. Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg and Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg were federated in September 2012 under a single governing body and Headteacher. The Headteacher of the secondary school is Headteacher of the federated school and the teacher in charge of the Primary School is an Assistant Headteacher within the senior leadership structure.

 

5. A report on a proposal to create a 1,361 place 3 - 19 all through school through the amalgamation of Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg and Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg was presented to Cabinet on 14 July 2014. Two options were considered for amalgamation: close both schools and open a new school or discontinue Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg and change the age range of Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg to admit children from the age of 3. Cabinet approved consultation on a proposal to discontinue Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg and extend the age range of Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg.

 

6. Consultation took place between 24 September 2014 and 12 November 2014 with prescribed consultees and a range of individuals. The consultation document is attached at Appendix A.

 

7. A consultation report must be published within 13 weeks of the end of the period allowed for responses to the consultation. The publication of the consultation report must take place before a statutory notice is published on the proposal.

 

8. Cabinet met on the 15 December 2014 to consider the outcome of the consultation exercise and to decide whether or not to proceed to publication of a statutory notice on the proposal.  

 

9. Cabinet approved the publication of the consultation report and to proceed to the publication of a statutory notice on the proposal. The consultation report was published and provided to prescribed consultees and a range of individuals on 17 December 2014. The consultation report is attached at Appendix B.

 

10. A statutory notice on the proposal was published on 6 January 2015 for a 28 day period.

Relevant Issues and Options 

11. The Welsh Government issued a School Organisation Code in 2013 that came into effect from the 1 October 2013. The Local Authority must “act in accordance with the Code” as determined by the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013.  Section 48 of the Act requires the publication of a statutory notice.

 

12. The Council published a Statutory Notice on the proposal on 6 January 2015 notifying stakeholders of the intention to amalgamate Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg and Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg from 1 September 2015. The 28 day statutory notice period came to an end on 3 February 2015. A copy of the notice is attached at Appendix C.

 

13. In line with the requirements of the School Organisation Code, the proposals were published on the Vale of Glamorgan Council's website and at the main entrance to the existing schools which are the subject of the proposal. Each school subject to the proposal were provided with copies of the Notice to distribute to pupils, parents and staff members (the schools may distribute the notice by e-mail). Parents of pupils attending the feeder primary schools from which pupils normally transfer to the secondary school were provided with a copy of the notice: the feeder primary schools also received a copy.  The statutory notice was distributed to parents and staff via parent mail and e-mail, hard copies were distributed to those with no access to e-mail.

 

14. On the day of the statutory notice being published the following were e-mailed a link to the published notice on the Vale of Glamorgan website and were also provided with a copy of the notice;

• Cardiff City Council, Bridgend County Borough Council and Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council;

• The Church in Wales and Roman Catholic Diocesan Authority for the area;

• The Governing Body of Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg and Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg;

• The Welsh Ministers;

• Assembly Members (AMs) and Members of Parliament (MPs) representing the area;

• Estyn;

• The relevant teaching and staff trade unions;

• Central South Consortium(Joint Education Service) - the relevant Regional Education consortium;

• The relevant Regional Transport Consortium;

• The Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales;

• Barry town Council/local councillors;

• The Vale of Glamorgan Communities First Partnership;

• The Vale of Glamorgan Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership (EYDCP) and Young Peoples Partnership;

• Welsh Language Commissioner and RHAG

 

15. Any objections submitted during the notice period had to be made in writing or by e-mail.

 

16. Under section 49 of the 2013 Act, where objections are received, proposers must publish a summary of the statutory objections and the proposer's response to those objections ("the objection report").

 

17. At the end of the statutory notice period on 3 February 2015, the Council received no objections to the proposal. There is therefore no requirement to publish an objection report as part of the proposal.

 

18. 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.

Process:

19. In determining this proposal the decision maker:

• must ensure that the statutory consultation has been conducted in accordance with the Code;

http://wales.gov.uk/topics/educationandskills/publications/guidance/school-organisation-code/?lang=en

• must ensure that the proposal has been published in accordance with the Code and the notice contains all the required information;

• must consider the consultation document and consultation report.

 

20. The Council received no objections or comments to the statutory notice for Cabinet to consider.

 

21. In considering the proposal Cabinet should take into account the factors highlighted within the Code which include quality and standards in education, need for places and the impact and accessibility of schools, resourcing of education and other financial implications as detailed within the School Organisation Code.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

22. The funding of the primary and secondary phases will be generated using the schools funding formula. This means that the new amalgamated school will receive the same amount of funding as the current Federation.  The funding formula for 3-19 provision will be reviewed in due course.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

23. There are no sustainability or climate change implications as a result of this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

24. Powers for Councils to develop school organisation proposals are governed by the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 and the School Organisation Code 2013,Statutory Code Document no. 006/2013. 

 

25. The Council has complied with the requirements of the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 and the School Organisation Code in connection with the proposal.

 

26. In order to implement the proposed amalgamation the Federation of Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg and Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg would need to be formally dissolved and all stakeholders notified in accordance with The Federation of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2014.

 

27. The membership of the Governing Body of the proposed amalgamated school should comply with the Government of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2005 to reflect that it is no longer a Federation.

Crime and Disorder Implications

28. There are no direct crime and disorder implications as a result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

29. A key driver to all school reorganisation proposals is to improve school effectiveness, improving educational outcomes for children and young people in all phases and helping to narrow the inequalities in achievement between advantaged and disadvantaged groups and individuals.

Corporate/Service Objectives

30. The amalgamation of Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg and Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg progresses LS2 to 'Develop, consult on and implement a School Reorganisation Programme to ensure the right schools are provided in the right places.' included within the Corporate Plan 2013-17.

 

31. The proposal detailed in this report contributes towards service objective 2 of the Learning and Skills Directorate Service Plan 2014/18: 'To meet the needs of all learners by providing a range of suitable and accessible learning opportunities and facilities.'

Policy Framework and Budget

32. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

33. Public consultation with all interested parties has been carried out in accordance with Schools Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 and the School Organisation Code, Statutory Code Document no. 006/2013.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

34. Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Mike Matthews

Principal School Planning Officer

01446 709727

Officers Consulted

Paula Ham - Head of Strategy, Community Learning and Resources

Operational Manager - Legal Services

Anne Brown, School Organisation Manager

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill

Director of Learning and Skills

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