Expanding and relocating Willows High, expanding and increasing numbers at Tremorfa Nursery, relocating and expanding Baden Powell Primary and possibly closing St Albans Catholic Primary School are proposals being considered by Cardiff Council.
A report which recommends a public consultation is held on proposals for an investment in and reorganisation of early years, primary and secondary school provision to serve Splott and Tremorfa, will be considered by the local authority’s Cabinet when it meets on Thursday, 11 July.
The reorganisation forms part of the Band B 21stCentury Schools Programme proposals and follows an instruction received from the Catholic Archdiocese to investigate the possible closure of St Albans Catholic Primary School.
Proposed plans would include:
– Expanding and re-locating Willows High School, under the£284m Band B 21stCentury Schools Programme delivered by Cardiff Council and Welsh Government.
– Tremorfa Nursery school to become an integrated children’s centre. It would continue to be a stand-alone nursery school providing nursery education for children age 3-4 that has been recognised as being of excellent quality, but to an increased number of 128 pupils.
– The Tremorfa Nursery site would also offer a significantly expanded range of services including Flying Start childcare and parenting support, currently offered on the existing Willows school site.
– Expanding Baden Powell Primary School to three forms of entry, offering 630 places for children aged 4-11. The school would transfer into new-build accommodation on Tremorfa Park.
Under the plans, Willows High School would increase its intake to 240 pupils per year group, becoming an eight form of entry for ages 11-16. It would include upgraded and enhanced facilities available for wider community use, including a number of Multi-Use Games Areas (MUGA) for sports such as basketball, netball and tennis and a floodlit 4G pitch. In addition, there would be three senior grass pitches, allowing a greater number of mini pitches to be configured for use by both the school and St Albans Rugby Club.
If taken forward, the existing Willows site would be landscaped and returned to parkland, meaning local residents would benefit from an overall increase in green space. This would include a new equipped children’s play area, and footpaths and cycle ways around the site, linking it to Tremorfa Park.
Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Councillor Sarah Merry said: “If given the go-ahead, these plans would represent an investment of approximately £42million in the Splott and Tremorfa areas.
“Willows High School is nearing the end of its operational life and a new site would provide state-of-the art facilities, ensuring that students have access to the best quality learning environment as well as providing excellent recreational facilities which the whole community can benefit from.
“In addition, local residents would gain a larger and enhanced public open space which will be developed on the existing site and be connected to Tremorfa Park by footpaths and cyclepaths.”
Cllr Merry added: “If agreed, the new site would be delivered under our £284m Band B, 21stCentury Schools and Education Programme, the largest ever single investment in our schools.
“Through this investment we can build on the momentum from the £164m we have put into new schools over the last five years, and take our 21stCentury Schools and Education Programme to another level.”
Subject to Cabinet approval, the finalised proposals would be put out for full public consultation in September 2019 and would run for a minimum of six weeks, inviting views from a range of stakeholders, including parents, staff and governors at the schools affected. This would also provide opportunities for the public, local residents, local businesses and others who have an interest in the community to have their say.