Plans to move Welsh medium school to new £8.5m site to take step forward
Anthony Lewis, local democracy reporter
Plans to move a Rhondda primary school to a new £8.5m site are set to take another step forward.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s cabinet will consider moving plans to relocate Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llyn y Forwyn in Ferndale to the next stage when they meet on Thursday, June 17.
The school would cater for children aged between 3 and 11 years of age who require Welsh medium education and would have a proposed admissions number of 30 pupils per year group, and an overall pupil capacity of 210, including nursery.
If agreed, the council will issue a statuory notice of the proposal on June 25 which will trigger the start of the objection period of 28 days.
If any objections are received during this period a report would be prepated and this would go to a future meeting of cabinet for embers to receive and consider and to make a final decision on this proposal.
It’s part of RCT Council’s plan to increase capacity and improve the quality of the Welsh medium primary education provision available to learners in the Rhondda Fach area.
The plan is for it to be built on the land north of Highfield in Ferndale known locally as the former Chubb Factory by 2024 which would see the current catchment area stay the same.
In January this year, approval was given by cabinet to begin a consultation on a proposal to improve and increase Welsh medium education provision in the Rhondda Fach by investing in a new school for Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llyn y Forwyn.
The cabinet report in January said that urgent investment is needed to replace YGG Llyn y Forwyn which in a site condition survey in 2019 was graded ‘D’ for condition and ‘C’ for suitability (on a scale where ‘A’ is the highest-performing and ‘D’ is the lowest.
The report said the current school is not compliant with the Equality Act 2010 in terms of accessibility and that given the restrictions of the site there is little that can be done to remedy this.
It added the opportunities for outdoor play are limited, there are no external green spaces available and all of the hard play areas are affected by the sloping topography.
There is no on-site staff car parking available which means that staff have to park in the neighbouring streets and the home to school transport drop-off area is located in the street below.
The school also currently has a maintenance backlog in excess of £1m.
There were 72 written responses received to the consultation, all via the online survey, and 70 were in agreement with the proposal with one not in agreement and one being unsure.
If the proposal goes ahead, the cabinet report said a significant capital investment will be required in the region of £8.5m to build the new school.
The report said the funding package will continue to be developed alongside the consultation and decision making process.