£44m investment into Barry secondary schools proposed
30 June 2016
The Vale of Glamorgan Council is to discuss a proposal that would see £44m invested into two new mixed-sex secondary schools in Barry to replace the existing Barry Comprehensive and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive schools.
If approved by the Council’s cabinet on Monday 4 July, a public consultation will then launch in September and subject to the consideration of responses from that consultation, the new schools could open in September 2018.
The new schools would be based on the existing sites of Barry’s two single-sex schools. £11.5m has been earmarked for investment into buildings currently occupied by Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School and £32.5m for a new school building and a centre of behavioural excellence on the Barry Comprehensive School site. Both new schools would have a capacity of 1100 places.
Cllr Lis Burnett, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education, said: “We know that both parents and pupils in the Vale of Glamorgan have long desired a change to mixed schooling. The Council’s new plan for transforming English medium education in Barry will not only deliver this but it will also deliver on our longstanding commitment to invest in the futures of the children and young people of the Vale of Glamorgan.
“The success of the Penarth Learning Community shows the impact that first class facilities can have not only on achievement but also the wellbeing of pupils. Construction is already underway on the Llantwit Learning Community and if these proposals are agreed, and receive the endorsement of parents and pupils during the consultation, then work will begin on delivering equally good facilities for Barry.
”Following its decision not to progress the proposal put forward in 2014, the Vale of Glamorgan Council established an advisory board to review alternatives for the future of secondary education in the county. The board included the head teachers and chairs of governors of the three secondary schools concerned, representatives of feeder primary schools, further and higher education, and senior members of the Council’s Learning and Skills team. This group considered the views of parents, pupils and staff gathered in the previous consultation and commissioned an extensive engagement programme to inform a new plan for transforming secondary education in Barry.
As Bryn Hafren and Barry Comprehensive schools currently share the same catchment area, the creation of two new mixed sex schools would require catchment areas to be redrawn.
Subject to consideration by Cabinet, public consultation would begin on 5 September 2016. The consultation would be open to all interested parties, with a focus on parents, pupils, and staff, and would run for six weeks.
A separate consultation is currently being undertaken on a proposal to invest £19m into Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg to enable an increase in the number of Welsh medium secondary school places in the Vale of Glamorgan. Although both have been drawn up by the same advisory board the two proposals are not interlinked and can progress separately.