Around £180m of approved investment has been committed to school buildings in Cardiff in recent years as part of the Council’s aspiration of developing viable and successful schools across the city.
A report detailing the past achievements and the existing financial model in the Schools Organisation Plan will be received by the Executive next week as it considers a future funding strategy in preparation for the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools investment programme.
In tackling issues such as surplus places, school building repair backlogs and the increase in demand for Welsh-medium provision the Council has committed significant investment as part of its vision to offer good quality learning opportunities in order to raise standards of achievement at fit for purpose, local schools for local children. This is illustrated by:
- £7m for 10 new nursery units (five granted and five being progressed) including investment in primary provision also
- £3.9m for three new Welsh-medium primary schools, including investment to Bryn Celyn Primary
- £7.9m for two existing Welsh-medium primary schools transferring to new build premises
- £14m for the award winning state-of-the-art new special school, Ty Gwyn, in Caerau
- £17m for amalgamations of 10 sets of infant and junior schools into all-through primaries (six complete and four underway)
- £6.5m for four new Integrated Children’s Centre facilities (two complete and two underway)
- £12.2m investment at the two existing Welsh-medium secondary schools, Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf and Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr, including new Special Educational Needs (SEN) facilities, technology and teaching blocks as well as upgraded sports facilities
- Planning permission has been submitted for the construction of two new secondary schools – St Teilo’s (which is being relocated to new premises) and the new high school in the east of the city, while there are plans for the refurbishment of the existing St Teilo’s premises to create the city’s third Welsh-medium secondary school. The St Teilo’s plan also includes investment in Cardiff High School and Llanishen High School. The total amount of investment committed to these projects is £63.6m.
The report outlines how the Council has been the body driving investment in Cardiff’s school buildings with 70 per cent of funding to date being provided by the Council and 30 per cent being provided by the Welsh Government. However, for future schemes the majority of funding will need to be provided by the Welsh Government.
The Council is awaiting the outcome of its bid for 21st Century Schools Band A funding to continue its investment programme in schools in Cardiff where it is hoped that investment from the Welsh Government over the entire programme will at least match the investment delivered by the Council. The report also highlights a planned consultation with head-teacher representatives on Cardiff’s School Budget Forum which could enable some £6 million of investment in schools IT to transform the learning environment for the 21st century.
Executive Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, Cllr Freda Salway, said: “We have accomplished a great deal over the last few years as part of our vision of creating 21st Century schools across the city. The level of investment in schools is evidence of this Council’s strong commitment to education in the city.
“We are keen to keep the ball rolling and ensure that the excellent progress we have made is continued. 21st Century Schools funding from the Welsh Government will be key to ensuring we can make further progress with our plans to provide all children and young people in the city with the best opportunities to achieve their potential.”