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Low birth rates blamed for school’s dwindling pupil numbers

13 Mar 2024 2 minute read
Cwm Glas Infants School in Llanbradach. Credit: Google

Nicholas Thomas Local Democracy Reporter

A final decision on the closure of an infants’ school which has had a drop in pupil numbers due to a decline in local birth rates will be made in early April.

Just 33 children are currently on the rolls at Cwm Glas Infant School in Llanbradach, meaning nearly half of pupil places are unfilled.

According to a Caerphilly Council report, the drop in learner numbers is expected to worsen in the coming years, owing to parental preference and a decline in local birth rates.


Projected pupil numbers and the “resultant financial outlook” pose a “significant challenge” to the school’s leadership to maintain the site and staffing levels, the council warned.

Cabinet members backed the proposed closure in December 2023, and in a subsequent consultation parents and governors were among those able to lodge formal objections to the plan.

Parents and governors have decided not to object to the plans.

“Reasonable alternatives to closure”, such as cutting the number of classes or co-location, were considered by the council and headteacher but “deemed not viable or sustainable”, according to the report.

If the closure is approved by the council’s cabinet members in April, it is estimated that all current and future pupils of Cwm Glas could be accommodated at Coed Y Brain Primary School, roughly a mile away.


At a meeting of the council’s education scrutiny committee on Tuesday March 12, Cllr Colin Gordon said Coed Y Brain was an “excellent school” and there would be no problems with children going there.

Cwm Glas currently teaches pupils aged three to seven and serves as a feeder school for Coed Y Brain.

If cabinet members proceed with the proposal to close Cwm Glas, as expected, the school will shut its doors for good on July 20, at the end of the current academic year.

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