Cabinet has agreed to progress plans to increase Welsh Medium education provision. These plans include creating new facilities for two existing schools in the Rhondda Fawr and the Rhondda Fach, and providing new provision near Church Village and south of the Cynon Valley.
These proposals seek to provide further additional capacity to cater for future housing developments, and support the growth of Welsh speakers in the County Borough.
At their meeting on April 9, Cabinet considered an Officer report which sets out the current demand for Welsh Medium primary and secondary school places. Several proposals were put forward for communities where supply is expected to grow. These plans include:
- Undertaking a feasibility study and submitting a business case to Welsh Government to either refurbish current facilities at Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhondda, or relocate to brand new 21st Century facilities – and undertake a feasibility study to identify a suitable site to build a new school for Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llyn y Forwyn. Each current school cannot easily be developed and have limited outdoor facilities. The Council will bid for 21st Century Schools funding for these projects.
- Committing to opening a new Welsh Medium Primary School to serve future housing sites to the south of Llantwit Fardre/Church Village and adjacent to the Church Village Bypass. If housing develops as currently proposed, the Council will have to increase the number of school places in this area, and a new school will likely be required. This new school could be a Welsh Medium to meet potential primary demand within Ysgol Garth Olwg catchment.
- Undertaking a feasibility study to explore the opportunities to increase Welsh Medium places in the Cynon Valley, south of Aberdare – in response to the ongoing and proposed housing developments in Mountain Ash and planned future developments for Abercwmboi.
Councillor Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “Cabinet has agreed to progress a number of proposals to further improve the provision and capacity we provide for Welsh Medium education in the County Borough.
“Future projects which will now be further explored include new 21st Century facilities in the Rhondda, south Cynon Valley and the South East of Taff Ely.
“The Council has a responsibility to ensure there is sufficient supply of school places for parents who choose to educate their children in English or Welsh mediums. The Council’s Welsh Education Statutory Plan for 2017-2020 was published in 2016 and is revisited yearly – and it sets out our vision and objectives to increase the number of Welsh learners in Rhondda Cynon Taf, while improving the quality of provision and educational outcomes.
“In recent years we have delivered several projects to increase Welsh Medium capacity in a number of communities, including the new 240-place primary provision at Ysgol Llanhari – while significant refurbishment and remodelling schemes have increased the number of places at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llwyncelyn by 100 and Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tonyrefail by 120.
“Several of the future projects outlined in the report to Tuesday’s meeting would pursue 21st Century Schools funding from the Welsh Government, to provide state-of-the-art facilities for our young people.
“Following Cabinet’s decision on Tuesday, feasibility studies will be undertaken to explore how Welsh Medium primary and secondary provision in the Rhondda Fawr and Rhondda Fach can be improved. Officers will also consider how future projected demand for Welsh Medium education can be met in south Cynon Valley and Church Village/Llantwit Fardre – before reporting back to Cabinet at a later date.”
Posted on Tuesday 9th April 2019