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New primary school provision to serve north-west Cardiff

The latest recommendations on the proposals to establish new primary school provision to serve parts of north-west Cardiff have been approved by the local authority’s Cabinet.

The report notes that the delivery of the new school will be delayed as a result of COVID-19 but that negotiations are ongoing with the developer in relation to their revised timetable.

When progressed, the new school would serve the early phases of the Plasdŵr development as well as parts of Cregiau, St Fagans, Radyr, Morganstown and Fairwater.

It would be dual stream, organised as one-form of entry offering Welsh-medium education and one-form of entry offering English-medium places with enhanced use of Welsh. The school would also offer 96 part-time nursery places, with half of the places being Welsh-medium and half English-medium, also with significant use of Welsh.

At its meeting on 23 January 2020, the Council’s Cabinet agreed the publication of a statutory notice, outlining the proposals to allow for objections.  The statutory notice was published on 26 February 2020 for a period of 28 days and the Council received three objections, each stating that the new school should be a dedicated Welsh-medium two form of entry primary school.

Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: “Cardiff Council has committed to growing the Welsh language as set out in our bilingual strategy which is consistent with the Welsh Government’s own Cymraeg 2050 strategy.

“We have also outlined our pledge to promoting the benefits of Welsh-medium education to all Cardiff communities. It is important however, that we increase our Welsh-medium education in a strategic way to make certain that the balance of school provision reflects the balance of demand. 

“This will ensure that our new schools are on a strong financial footing; our existing primary schools in the area remain viable; and that the schools we offer cater for the range of parental preference we see in Cardiff.

“These proposals would deliver an innovative variation on the traditional dual-stream primary school provision and see a significantly greater focus on Welsh teaching within the English medium stream. This is a model that has been developed from nearly 40 years of research in the Basque region, which has seen the uptake of Basque grow to circa 90% from a similar position to that of Welsh speaking in Cardiff. The school would present an exciting opportunity in how the Welsh language is taught to pupils in an English-medium school and whether choosing Welsh-medium or English-medium education, and deliver high quality education in a 21st Century learning environment.”

Cllr Merry added: “The global health crisis has had implications on developments across the country but will be working with developers to ensure the new school can be established at the earliest possible time.”

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