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Cabinet to discuss new and small schools reports

Swansea Council's Cabinet is being asked for approval to build brand new state-of-the-art schools for two Welsh medium primaries in the city.

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A report is seeking permission to press ahead with the £23m investment for YGG Tan-y-lan on land in Clase and another for YGG Tirdeunaw on surplus land that is currently part of the YGG Bryn Tawe site.

This is part of the council's Welsh In Education Strategic Plan to dramatically increase the number of places at Welsh medium schools in Swansea by up to 850 in the coming years to meet growing demand from pupils and parents.

At the same meeting on December 20 cabinet members will also consider the results of consultations on proposals to close Swansea's two smallest schools because of a long-term trend of declining pupil numbers at the two schools.

As of September this year the number of pupils attending YGG Felindre had fallen to 14 while the number had dropped at Craigcefnparc Primary School to 49.

During the consultation process governors, parents and their wider communities were invited to put forward proposals to make the schools sustainable in the future.

Even though additional resources have been put into both schools in recent years they have been a cause of concern for Swansea Council for some time and the report says a better quality education is available at nearby schools.

The different options for the futures of YGG Felindre and Craigcefnparc Primary School are outlined in the reports.

Should cabinet agree to the proposals then the next stage would see statutory notices published for the relocation and enhancement of YGG Tan-y-lan and YGG Tirdeunaw.

If approved further notices would be published expressing the intention to close YGG Felindre and Craigcefnparc Primary School with effect from August 31 next year. Any objections would then be considered at a future cabinet meeting before a final decision is taken.

Councillor Jennifer Raynor, Cabinet Member for Education Improvement, Learning and Skills, said: "Extensive consultations including face to face meetings have taken place on all four proposals and I would like to thank everyone who took the time to take part.

"Cabinet members will be scrutinising the reports' recommendations and the full consultation responses ahead of the meeting when I'm sure there will be more questions before any decisions are taken."

The proposal for YGG Tan-y-lan, which is currently based at the former Graig Infant School site in Morriston, is for a new build at Beacons View Road in Clase. Once completed it would have capacity for 315 pupils to help meet the growing demand for education through the medium of Welsh in the area.

A new school for YGG Tirdeunaw with places for 420 pupils would be built on surplus land next to YG Bryntawe and although they may share new improved sports facilities they would remain completely separate.

The proposal to close YGG Felindre comes after education officers raised concerns that the school is struggling to support the small numbers of pupils on its roll.

The majority of pupils who attend travel to the school from outside the village and the report advises that they would receive a better education at one of the city's other Welsh medium schools.

Should cabinet agree to the publication of a statutory notice to close Craigcefnparc Primary School then it is proposed Craigcefnparc would become part of the Clydach Primary School catchment area but parents would be able to apply for places at any other school of their choice.

If this were to happen then there are plans for daily transport to be provided to pupils from Craigcefnparc. Traffic calming measures and road resurfacing work would be undertaken and money would be invested to improve facilities for the Foundation Phase. Clydach Primary would also receive more funding to reflect the increase in pupil numbers.

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