Proposals for primary school reorganisation to serve; Cathays and parts of Gabalfa, Heath, Llandaff North and Plasnewydd


A report which recommends a public consultation is held on proposals for an investment in and reorganisation of primary school provision to serve;Cathays and parts of Gabalfa, Heath, Llandaff North and Plasnewydd, will be considered by Cardiff Council's Cabinet when it meets on Thursday 17, December.

With the aim of balancing provision for Welsh-medium and English-medium community primary school provision, the proposals would include:

  • Consolidating Allensbank Primary School at 1FE (210 places), retaining nursery and Additional Learning Needs early intervention provision, from September 2022.
  • Increasing the capacity of Ysgol Mynydd Bychan from 192 places to 315 places from September 2022 and locate the additional school places at Allensbank Primary School in the first instance. 

The take up of places atAllensbank Primary School sitehas been consistently lower than the number of places available and the high level of surplus is projected to continue. Wherethere is a higher than necessary number of school places, there is an opportunity to deploy resources more efficiently to improve the quality of education for all learners. 

To meet the projected demand for places, the report details proposals to expandYsgol Mynydd Bychan to a 1.5 Form of Entry, however expansion on the existing school site is not possible due to site constraints.

The initial solution is toreorganise existing school provision in the area to provide an appropriate balance of supply and demand for both English-medium and Welsh-medium provision in the area, and would represent an effective and efficient use of resources.

By implementing a shared site arrangement for Ysgol Mynydd Bychan with Allensbank Primary School in the first instance would limit the impact on all schools and provide an appropriate local solution, whichwould result in creating additional Welsh-medium primary provision whilst retaining an appropriate number of English-medium places to meet demand within the locality based on population projections and historic take up patterns.

The report will also give consideration to proposals for a temporary increase to the Admission Number of Ysgol Mynydd Bychan at entry to Reception Year for the 2021/2022 school year. This interim arrangement would increase the number of places from 30 places to 45 places should additional local Welsh-medium primary school places be required for children in the area.

Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: "The Council is committed to the development and expansion of Welsh-medium education and it is essential that any proposals must ensure that the growth of schools is sustainable, and that the potential negative impact on other schools is minimised.

"By expanding Ysgol Mynydd Bychan to 1.5FE in the first instance it would provide an appropriate number of places to meet demand whilst minimising the impact on neighbouring Welsh-medium schools, and would enable an efficient class structure to operate whilst the school grows. A later phase of expansion to 2FE would support the Council in making progress towards the Cymraeg 2050 targets."

In 2017 Welsh Government published its Cymraeg 2050 strategy which sets out a vision of reaching one million Welsh speakers by 2050, with the aim of 40 per cent of children (in each year group) to be in Welsh-medium education.

The Council was successful in securing funds from the Welsh Government ‘Increasing Welsh-medium Provision Capital Grant' scheme with the purpose of supporting capital investments that facilitate growth in Welsh medium education which included a proposal to reorganise primary provision in the central area of Cardiff and expand the number of Welsh-medium primary places.

Cllr Merry added: "The Council recognises that the education system is a key element in ensuring that children are able to develop their Welsh skills and for creating new speakers. We have already expanded Welsh-medium primary school places significantly since 2012, including the expansion of Ysgol Gymraeg Treganna and Ysgol Glan Morfa and new buildings for a number of schools including Ysgol Glan Ceubal and the establishment of Ysgol Hamadryad.  

"The Council has also expanded Ysgol Y Wern and has approved proposals for new dual stream primary school provision to serve the early phases of the Plasdwr development."

Proposals for a long term solution tobalance Welsh-medium and English-medium primary school places to serve the area, would be shaped by the viewsofschools, parents and the wider community as part of the statutory consultation which would be carried out by the Council.