Cabinet recommended to take forward plans for new education campus in Fairwater

Consultation responses on the redevelopment of Cantonian High School, Riverbank Special School and Woodlands High School, will be detailed in a report which will be presented to Cardiff Council's Cabinet when they meet on Thursday 13, June.

The report also recommends that Cabinet proceed to the statutory notice stage for the following proposals:

-         Replace the Cantonian High School buildings with new build accommodation on the same site expanding the school from six forms of entry (6FE) to eight forms of entry (8FE) with sixth form provision for up to 250 pupils;

-         Expand the Specialist Resource Base (SRB) for learners with an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC), hosted at Cantonian High School from 20 to 30 places in purpose built accommodation in the new school buildings;

-         Relocate Woodlands Special School to the Doyle Avenue site from its current site adjacent to Trelai Park and increase the capacity from 140 places to 240 places in new build accommodation;

-         Relocate Riverbank Special School to the Doyle Avenue site from its current site adjacent to Trelai Park, and increase the capacity from 70 to 112 places in new build accommodation.

The Council had proposed to enlarge Riverbank to 140 places but capping capacity at 112 places would reduce the footprint of buildings, increasing the outdoor space for learners, and would reduce the impact of traffic to the site. Additional specialist places would be brought forward at another school to meet the projected increase for special primary ages places in coming years.

As part of the Band B 21st Century Schools Programme, the need for additional secondary school places and Additional Learning Needs (ALN) places for children with complex  learning needs has been identified.

In December 2018, the Cabinet agreed a recommendation to hold public consultation on the proposals tobuild an education campus in Fairwater which would deliver new-build education accommodation for three Cardiff Schools.

Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council, and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: "At over 11 hectares, The Doyle Avenue site presents an exciting opportunity to create a first of its kind education campus in Cardiff, providing new homes forCantonian High School, Woodlands Special School and Riverbank Special School.

"The current buildings for all three schools have reached the end of their operational lives and need to be replaced. This would allow us to deliver new - build 21stCentury facilities as well as enabling us to meet the projected increase in demand for secondary school places in the area and the increasing demand for provision for learners with Additional Learning Needs."

"Overall, the responses to the consultation have been extremely positive with over 750 responses received. Of wider stakeholder respondents, 94% were in support of the plans toreplace and expand Cantonian High School and 80% were in support of proposals to move and expand Woodlands Special School and Riverbank Special School to the Doyle Avenue site.

"I was particularly pleased to see the high response from young people who not only completed the online survey but also attended consultation meetings. This further cements our pledge to give pupils a voice on their schools, highlighting Cardiff's Child Friendly City strategy, where the voices and rights of children are an integral part of decision making.

"The consultation was an excellent opportunity for us to gather views and opinionsfrom a range of stakeholders, and this feedback is reflected in the project proposals which have been put forward for Cabinet consideration.

"In the event that the proposals proceed to implementation, all of the responses including those received from the pupil surveys, will inform the plans, which would still be subject to planning."