Rhondda Cynon Taf has granted final approval for proposals to amalgamate two schools in Glyn-coch and build a brand new community primary school with first-class facilities – as part of its ongoing joint investment with Welsh Government.
On Wednesday, June 22, Members agreed with officer recommendations to approve the proposals, that will improve the quality of education provision in Glyn-coch. Cefn Primary and Craig yr Hesg Primary will be amalgamated by 2026, and the newly-created, larger primary school will serve their combined catchment area. The new building will be located on the current Craig yr Hesg Primary site and adjacent land (the former Ty Gwyn Pupil Referral Unit).
The new development for Glyn-coch – like all other new school investment projects in Rhondda Cynon Taf – will target Net Zero carbon in operation, supporting the Council’s wider Climate Change goals and commitments.
Subject to funding approval, it is proposed that the new school be delivered via the Mutual Investment Model, which is the revenue funding element of the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme (formerly 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme) whereby the multi-million pound investment will benefit from an 81% contribution from Welsh Government.
Cabinet had previously approved a public consultation held over six weeks across January and February 2022, and following a very positive overall response to the proposals Members subsequently agreed (at their meeting in March 2022) to the publication of statutory notices on April 4. One objection was received in the allowed period for objections, which ended on May 11.
On Wednesday, Members agreed to give final approval for the proposals, noting the improvement in local education provision that it will deliver, the first-class facilities and learning environments that the new school will bring, and the exciting opportunities it will provide for the wider community of Glyn-coch.
Councillor Rhys Lewis, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Youth Participation and the Welsh Language, said: “I’m very pleased that Cabinet has supported this significant investment in education facilities for Glyn-coch, which will deliver fully-accessible, first-class facilities that pupils, staff and the community can be proud of. The exciting proposals received widespread local support in the consultation, to replace two schools with a large backlog of maintenance with a brand new facility.
“It is also important to add that Cefn Primary and Craig yr Hesg Primary are schools which are already closely associated – having formed a federation 10 years ago and have since operated under a single executive headteacher. Investment in a brand new school building is what staff and pupils deserve, replacing two existing buildings which require significant maintenance work.
“The Council has an excellent track record of delivering significant investment in education facilities across the County Borough, in partnership with Welsh Government. The current £252m Band B investment programme will see projects at YGG Aberdâr and Ysgol Rhydywaun delivered by September 2022, along with a £72m investment across Greater Pontypridd by 2024.
“New school buildings are also planned for Pontyclun Primary, Penygawsi Primary, Llaniltud Faerdref Primary, YGG Llyn y Forwyn, Maesybryn Primary and Tonysguboriau Primary.
“Following Cabinet’s decision on Wednesday, the Council has now approved the new community primary school for Glyn-coch, and officers will work with Welsh Government to progress the scheme towards its delivery.”