Recommendations to progress plans for a new Cathays High School will be put to Cardiff Council’s Cabinet when it meets later this month.
A report outlining the proposals, also summarises the findings of consultation that followed the Public Statutory Notice approved by Cabinet in June 2021.
If progressed, the new school would be delivered as a priority scheme which looks to address those schools identified as in poor condition, with major defects, suitability issues or nearing the end of their operational life.
Representing a significant investment in the local area, the scheme would provide enhanced facilities at the site, available for shared community use.
The proposals include:
- Replacing the existing Cathays High School buildings with new build accommodation on the Maindy Centre site adjacent to Crown Way and North Road
- Increasing the capacity of the school from 1,072 places (5.5 forms of entry with 247 sixth form places) to 1,450 places (8 Forms of Entry with 250 sixth form places) from September 2023
- Expanding the current Specialist Resource Base (SRB) for learners with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) from 16 to 50 places in purpose built accommodation in the new school buildings
- Upgrading community facilities in Cathays and Gabalfa through significantly enhanced school facilities being made available for shared use with the wider local community
- Providing space for the local community to continue to have access to off-road open spaces for informal leisure use
By expanding the school, an opportunity would be provided to meet the projected demand for places from within its catchment area and excess demand for places from other neighbouring catchment areas, as a result of new housing developments.
Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah merry said: “The Band B Programme seeks to address the most acute sufficiency and condition issues in Cardiff and Cathays High School has been identified as in need of investment and redevelopment. This will provide pupils, staff and the local community, with access to modern, improved and inspiring facilities, fit for 21st Century learning.
“The central location of the school within the city means that it is well placed to support growth in its locality as well as other areas, helping to meet the projected demand for community English-medium places as well as meeting the demand for city-wide additional Specialist Resource Base (SRB) places for learners with Autism Spectrum Condition.”
The school proposals have been developed following a public consultation and statutory notice period. This has included producing an indicative red line boundary map of the proposed school site that identifies the extent of the community open access space that would be available.
Cllr Merry added: “Public consultation has played an important part in the development of the plans so far. There has been substantial support for the redevelopment of the school, however I am aware of a number of concerns were raised relating to the impact on public open access space and use of existing local leisure amenities.
“This has been considered and if progressed, a large increased area of community space would be retained which would be landscaped in parts to provide the most appropriate and usable area possible. This would be in addition to the facilities provided within the boundary of the school that would be available to the community outside of school hours and also continued access to the facilities at Maindy Centre.”