Agenda Item No. 7
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (LIFELONG LEARNING): 14 OCTOBER 2013
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 23 SEPTEMBER 2013
C2029 SCHOOL REORGANISATION PROPOSALS FOR WELSH MEDIUM PRIMARY SCHOOL PLACES IN BARRY: YSGOL GWAUN Y NANT AND OAKFIELD PRIMARY SCHOOL (CS) (SCRUTINY – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –
Approval was sought to expand Ysgol Gwaun y Nant in order to provide sufficient Welsh medium primary school places in Barry.
Welsh Medium primary education was currently provided at four schools in Barry: Ysgol St Curig, Ysgol St Baruc, Ysgol Nant Talwg and Ysgol Gwaun y Nant.
There were 150 applications for September 2013 for the 150 reception places available. There were158 children in nursery classes who it was anticipated would require a reception place in 2014, resulting in a shortfall of eight places. This figure may have increased before September 2014.
This growth in demand was expected to continue for the foreseeable future. The Local Authority had a legal duty to meet parental demand for Welsh Medium education.
A feasibility study had been carried out which considered a range of options including the expansion of existing Welsh medium schools in Barry and the construction of a new school to meet this increasing demand.
Ysgol Gwaun y Nant and Oakfield Primary school both occupied separate parts of a former two form entry (420 place) primary school. The most favourable option was determined to be the construction of a new one form entry (210 place) building to accommodate Oakfield Primary on the existing site and the remodelling of the building occupied by Ysgol Gwaun y Nant and Oakfield Primary to enlarge Ysgol Gwaun y Nant to accommodate 420 children plus an enlarged nursery.
An extension to Ysgol Gwaun y Nant would not result in any improvements to the children's learning areas at Oakfield Primary school.
The preferred option would significantly improve the teaching and learning environments for both schools by addressing the poor internal layout and provide two schools that met the educational needs of the 21st Century.
It was anticipated that building work could start on the new Oakfield Primary school building in November 2014 for completion by September 2015. Once the new building was complete, remodelling work could be carried out in the existing school building to increase capacity for Ysgol Gwaun y Nant.
A consultation document must be provided to all interested parties allowing a minimum of six weeks to respond, the consultation period must include a minimum of 20 school days. Meetings would be held during the consultation period to provide additional information as requested.
Within three months of the closing date for the consultation period a consultation report would be published including a summary of comments received and the Council's response to these comments.
If following the consultation process the Council decided that the expansion of Ysgol Gwaun y Nant was to be progressed a statutory notice would be published providing 28 days for objections. The notice must be published on a school day and with 15 school days included within the notice period.
If objections were received, an objection report must be published with a summary of the objections and the Council's response within 28 days of the end of the objection period. Under the new legislation coming into force on the 1 October 2013, as the proposal did not relate to 6th form education, the Local Authority could determine the proposal if objections were received.
Appendix B as attached to the report, set out the anticipated timescale for this process if approved by Cabinet.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the preferred option to expand Ysgol Gwaun y Nant from one to two form entry and to provide a new building for Oakfield Primary school on the current site be approved.
(2) T H A T consultation on the expansion of Ysgol Gwaun y Nant from a one to two form entry school be approved.
(3) T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) and from there onto the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) for consideration.
Reasons for decisions
(1&2) To enable the expansion of Welsh Medium education to meet increasing parental demand.
(3) That Scrutiny Committees (Lifelong Learning and Corporate Resources) are aware of progress with school re-organisation.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 23 SEPTEMBER 2013