Ysgol Iolo Morganwg is one of the Vale’s Welsh medium primary schools, based in Cowbridge, which currently offers up to 210 school places. The new campus will double school spaces, eventually taking capacity to 420 pupils. This will also result in additional nursery space with places increasing from 66 to 96 part-time spaces (48 full-time).
The new school will be built on land located on the new residential development to the north west of Darren Farm (known as Clare Gardens), which is 1.3km away from the existing school premises.
Cllr Rhiannon Birch, Cabinet Member for Education, Arts, and Welsh Language said:“The Council is delighted to see this project progressing to the next stage.
“It is not possible to expand Ysgol Iolo Morganwg’s current premises. The 19th century building cannot support a modern learning environment and limited outdoor space restricts the school’s capabilities.
“The £13 million investment will fund a bespoke, brand-new school building fit for 21stcentury learning, benefiting pupils, staff, and the wider community.
“As a Council, it is vital we support the growing number of Welsh speakers in our communities with the current demand for Welsh medium education and for future generations to come. A new, bigger campus for Ysgol Iolo Morganwg will support Welsh speakers in our communities long-term.”
The current site of Ysgol Iolo Morganwg is comprised of an original Victorian school building containing a number of demountable blocks. The current building is not fit for purpose and has limited outdoor spaces with no opportunity to expand the school on the existing site.
The new site will provide state of the art facilities for staff and learners of Ysgol Iolo Morganwg and improve access from across the Western Vale with improved transport links
The school will be at the heart of the community and will promote Welsh language education, improving accessibility to the Welsh language and promoting bilingualism to support the Council’s commitments in its 10-year Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP), and Welsh Government’s ‘Cymraeg 2050’ strategy to target 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050.
The Council has made significant investment in Welsh medium education which has seen an increase in bilingual learners and aims to continue this trend to ensure there is sufficient capacity over the long-term.
As part of the Council’s WESP development, Ysgol Iolo Morganwg’s new campus will also feature an adult education and Welsh language immersion centre for primary school-aged pupils from 7 years old and above, as well as offering Adult and Community Learning Programs after school hours.
Welsh medium education is increasing in popularity in the Vale and has seen significant growth over the last 18 years since the opening of Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg, the Welsh medium secondary school which serves the whole Authority area. With the additional 210 school places, primary-aged pupils from Ysgol Iolo Morganwg seeking Welsh medium education at secondary level will be accommodated at Ysgol Bro Morgannwg.