Cabinet will discuss proposals to create new primary education provision at Llanilid, which will be required if major plans to construct 1,850 homes are agreed.

At their meeting on Thursday, September 20, Cabinet Members will consider an Officer report which recommends formal approval is given to establish the new primary education provision to serve the development at Llanilid. Cabinet could agree to the commencement of the required statutory consultation process in order to progress the outlined proposal.

Plans for the housing development were granted outline permission in January 2016, and the Council’s Planning and Development Committee will consider granting full planning permission in September 2018. If accepted, housing construction is likely to start before the end of the year.

The Council will collect a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to provide the essential infrastructure required to support a housing development of this size – and it has been agreed that this will include a new primary school building with 540 places, to be constructed by the developers and handed over to the Council.

The report to Cabinet proposes that the new school building is initially established as an extension of the existing nearby Dolau Primary School. This would be instead of creating a new school, and is considered as the option which is in the best interests of staff and pupils.

This option would bring the new building under the management of the existing senior leadership and governing body of Dolau Primary School, which is recognised by Estyn as being extremely successful. It would also remove the need to appoint a new headteacher, and avoid the uncertainty of creating a staffing structure for a new school which has, at present, an unknown number of pupils.

As more houses are constructed and occupied Dolau Primary will grow in size, and more staff will be employed accordingly. The headteacher will be able to utilise the new school building and facilities as required for the benefit of all the pupils who attend the school. The school will continue to offer both Welsh Medium and English Medium education to pupils, subject to parental choice.

Councillor Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “Cabinet will consider an option which would see the new primary education building in Llanilid to be established as an extension to Dolau Primary School. If the planning application for 1,850 homes is agreed later this month, the school will be built by the housing developers – with construction on the new houses likely to start this year.

“The nature of this type of housing development makes it more difficult to put arrangements in place to create a brand new school from the outset – for instance, the number of pupil applications to the school is currently unknown, and will only become apparent as more and more of the new homes are occupied.

“Therefore, the option put forward would not create a new school provision in the first instance, but treat the new building as an extension of the existing Dolau Primary school. As more houses are occupied and more pupil applications received, the existing school will have a greater capacity to accept them.

“If agreed, the new school at Llanilid would become the latest in Rhondda Cynon Taf with brand new facilities, as the Council continues to utilise joint Welsh Government funding to provide 21st Century learning environments for our young people. In September 2018, new schools in Porth, Tonypandy, Tonyrefail and Porth were formed as part of an £85m investment across Rhondda and Tonyrefail – along with a £7.2m primary school for Cwmaman.”

Posted on Thursday 13th September 2018

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