Primary re-organisation on hold to develop permanent solutions


Interim plans to reorganise primary school provision to serve Cathays and parts of Gabalfa, Heath, Llandaff North and Plasnewydd should be paused to allow more sustainable solutions to be developed.

The Council had developed proposals aiming to achieve the right balance of English medium and Welsh medium primary provision to meet future demand in the area and to support its commitment to developing Welsh-medium education and contribute to Welsh Government targets set out in ‘Cymraeg 2050'.

But following public consultation earlier this year on the interim proposal to increase the capacity of Ysgol Mynydd Bychan to 1.5 FE (Form of Entry) and reduce Allensbank Primary's capacity to 1FE by September 2022, and in response to calls for a more longer term plan for school places in the area, Cabinet will now consider a recommendation not to proceed with these proposals at its meeting on Thursday, June 17.

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Revised proposals that deliver a permanent solution, in line with the long term strategic aims of Cardiff's Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP) 2021-2030, should be developed to achieve an appropriate balance of Welsh-medium and English-medium primary school places to serve the area.

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Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: "We consulted widely on these proposals, which sought to support the growth of Welsh medium education and get the balance right to meet demand for both English medium and Welsh medium places in the long term. We are very grateful to everyone who took part for helping to shape a way forward.

"While these proposals would indeed achieve an increase in Welsh medium places in the short term, we acknowledge the range of concerns submitted during the consultation and engagement exercises, particularly the need to have a longer term vision for Welsh medium education in the area.

"We want to get this right for the schools and their communities in these areas so it makes sense not to progress with these plans and consider new options, in the light of responses to our Welsh in Education Strategic Plan 2021-2030 consultation, which will take place later this year.

"Any revised proposals should seek to expand Welsh-medium provision serving the existing catchment area of Ysgol Mynydd Bychan, reduce English-medium surplus places to serve the combined catchment areas of Allensbank Primary School, Albany Primary School and Gladstone Primary School and enable investment in school buildings to improve the learning environment for everyone."

The Council's aspirations for increasing the number of Welsh speakers in Cardiff is part of its vision for a truly bilingual Capital City, and aligns with the Welsh Government's ‘Cymraeg 2050' ambition which targets a million Welsh speakers by 2050. ‘Cymraeg 2050' sets national targets of educating 40 per cent of learners in Welsh-medium schools, and a further 30 per cent of learners being educated in English-medium schools being fluent in Welsh.

Cardiff's current Welsh in Education Strategic Plan and the new plan for 2021-2030 are key drivers in these ambitions. The new plan will set out the next steps in growing Welsh-medium education in the city and is expected to be available for public consultation in the Autumn before being submitted for approval to Welsh Government in January 2022.