Funding for Vale of Glamorgan Council’s 21st Century Schools scheme increases
FUNDING for the next stage of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s 21st Century Schools Programme has risen to nearly £144 million, meaning two schools previously set for refurbishment are now in line for brand new buildings.
If proposals are agreed by the Council’s Cabinet on Monday, Pencoedtre High School and St Nicholas Church in Wales School will both undergo total rebuilds instead of redevelopment.
The plans also include a new and expanded Centre for Learning and Wellbeing, which will adopt a therapeutic approach when helping those children that use it and replaces the previously proposed Centre for Behavioural Excellence.
Amending the 21st Century Schools programme to include a new build for Pencoedtre High will ensure equality across the two English-medium community schools in Barry, the other being Whitmore High, and reduce the costs associated with maintaining the old building.
It will also mean less disruption to teaching and learning during the build process.
Under the proposals, the increased funding for Band B of the 21st Century Schools programme will also ensure a greater number of children with additional learning needs can be accommodated at Ysgol y Deri.
And there would be extensive further investment in primary provision across the County, with detailed plans to be revealed in the near future.
The first phase of the scheme, known as Band A, saw £31 million committed to six projects: Penarth Learning Community, Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg, Ysgol Gymraeg Gwaun Y Nant and Oak Field Primary School, Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant, Llantwit Learning Community and Colcot Primary School.
Band B will see even greater spending with the level of investment rising from £142.417 million to £143.904 million after Welsh Government committed more money to the project. They are set to contribute £84.567 million, with the Council making up the other £59.337 million.
Work on other projects that form part of the funding programme is already well under way as part of a major commitment to improving educational facilities that will make a real difference to thousands of children across the Vale.
The Council recently announced plans for a new Welsh-medium primary school for Barry Waterfront, while Welsh language secondary education will also benefit under Band B, with Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg set to undergo extensive improvement and expansion works. This is to cater for a growing number of pupils requiring secondary education in that medium in the Barry area.
Cllr Bob Penrose, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Learning and Culture, said:
“This increased funding should allow us to further expand what was already a far-reaching programme of investment aimed at transforming nursery, primary, secondary and faith education across the Vale.
“Subject to Cabinet approval, Pencoedtre High School and St Nicholas Church in Wales School will now receive brand new buildings as part of this widespread series of improvement works.
“The County’s most vulnerable pupils will also receive greater provision as more money has been allocated to both Ysgol y Deri and the Centre for Learning and Wellbeing.
“The 21st Century Schools investment programme will make a significant difference to the educational experience of children throughout the County.
“Extensive improvements have already been made to a host of school buildings and that is set to continue on an even greater scale in this latest round of investment.”