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Future plans for special schools in Swansea - consultation document

We are consulting on the future of special school provision in Swansea.

Consultation document on the proposal to:

  1. Amalgamate Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn and Ysgol Crug Glas into one Special School on 1 September 2025 on existing sites; and
  2. Relocate the new school on 1 April 2028 to purpose-built accommodation on Mynydd Garnllwyd Road, whilst increasing the number of planned places.

 

Contents

Foreword from Director
Glossary of abbreviations

1. Introduction / background / rational for change

Introduction / background
Rationale for change
The amalgamated school will have the following benefits
The new build school will have the following benefits
What are the potential disadvantages?

2. What would this proposal mean?

Stage 1 - Amalgamation
Stage 2 - Relocation to the new school building
Resourcing of education and other financial implications
Governing body implications
Staffing implications
Transport implications
Risks / dependencies of the proposals
Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn residential unit
Alternative options considered
Site selection

3. The consultation process

Who will be consulted?
The consultation period
Consultation meetings
Consultation with pupils
Consultation report
Statutory notice
Statutory objection period
Determination of proposal
Decision notification
The statutory process timetable
Integrated impact assessment
Welsh language impact assessment
Community impact assessment
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

4. Schools affected by this proposal

5. Evaluation of the present arrangements

Quality and standards in education
Teaching and learning experiences
Care, support and guidance
Leadership and management
Impact of the proposal
Need for places and the impact on accessibility of schools

6. Appendices

Appendix A - Integrated Impact Assessment
Appendix B - Welsh Medium Impact Assessment
Appendix C - Community Impact Assessment
Appendix D - Draft budget share for amalgamated school
Appendix E - Response form

 

 

Foreword from Director

Swansea Council has a statutory responsibility to promote high quality, effective education provision. Part of this responsibility is to keep the number and type of school places under review in order to deliver education efficiently across Swansea. The future sustainability of our learning communities is supported well if we make the best use of current educational facilities and if we add new facilities, where needed most.

In fulfilling this obligation, Swansea Council has planned an ambitious programme for new and better schools to meet the needs of Swansea's learners. The vision and policies associated with this programme are driven by a careful consideration of educational standards; the need for places and accessibility of schools, the quality and suitability of school accommodation and efficient financial management.

This ambitious programme for new and better schools gives regard to legislative changes in education, including the implementation of Curriculum for Wales (CfW) and the Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal Act (ALNET).

In the planning and construction of new educational provision, schools are equipped to provide exciting curricular experiences, innovative learning methods and enhanced opportunities for social inclusion, bilingualism and engagement of parents / carers.

In practical terms, Swansea Council needs to establish provision that reflects changing patterns of Swansea's population, the legislative changes and closer collaboration within geographical clusters of schools. Accommodation and facilities fit to serve the needs of learners in the 21st century, where needed most, are key to delivering our ambitions for learners in Swansea.

Swansea Council works in partnership with stakeholders who contribute to supporting the learning and well-being of children and young people and their families. Swansea's vision for our Sustainable Communities for Learning programme is based on co-operation and collaboration within a learning community to ensure we work together to deliver an excellent education for all.

Our programme includes new and better facilities in a state-of-the-art building for learners with additional learning needs (ALN). This specific new single-site special school project proposal is developed to better meet the learning and well-being needs of learners with the most complex and profound level of ALN in Swansea.

The proposal is for a single new build special school for pupils with ALN aged 3-19 and requiring special school provision. Specifically, learners with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) and moderate to severe learning disabilities (M/SLD) and with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) will benefit from the proposal.

The new 350 pupil school will feature environments, equipment and resources to enhance the learning, well-being and therapeutic experiences provided for learners, including independence / life skills and vocational skills. Provision of occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and nursing services will also be accommodated in the new building

Consultation will follow the guidelines established by the Welsh Government and will involve identified interested. The information set out in this document is intended to clarify the proposals and support the consultation process.

Helen Morgan-Rees
Director of Education, Swansea Council

 

1. Introduction / background / rational for change

Introduction / background

Swansea has a strong track record for meeting a wide range of additional learning needs (ALN) with a continuum of specialist provision. This range of ALN has expanded over time. As part of the culture change involved in the implementation of the Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal Act (ALNET), much work has been undertaken with mainstream schools to become increasingly inclusive and responsive to a widening range of ALN. The majority of pupils with ALN are educated in mainstream schools.

A significant number of pupils with ALN, who have more severe and complex needs require a more specialist setting for their learning and well-being needs to be met.

In Swansea these more specialised settings include specialist teaching facilities (STFs), which support pupils with moderate to severe learning difficulties (MSD) or moderate / severe Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC). There are very few spare places within mainstream STFs.

Additionally, there are two special schools providing education for a maximum of 250 pupils, aged between 3 and 19 years:

Ysgol Crug Glas has 55 places for pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD). This school is made up of three blocks ranging from 1960s to post 2010.

Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn has 195 places. It has 116 places for moderate to severe learning difficulties (M/SLD) and 79 places for pupils with severe autism. This school is made up of five blocks on two sites, ranging in age from 1960s to post 2010.

Nursery provision is provided within these settings where this is appropriate.

Within Ysgol Crug Glas, all pupils are the subject of an individual health care plan and a significant number have extensive healthcare requirements. The teaching staff include 11 teachers and 51 support staff. Most pupils come from within the Swansea area and a few come from other local authorities. Ysgol Crug Glas is a curriculum pioneer school and is working with Welsh Government and collaborating with other special schools to lead on curriculum reform.

Within Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn, pupils are taught in 21 classes which cater for their individual needs. There are 27 teaching staff and 80 support staff. The school also provides 24-hour curriculum residential provision for targeted pupils aged from 14 to 19 years. Pupils come from across Swansea and from a range of backgrounds.

Both schools are happy, nurturing schools that provide an effective and meaningful education for its pupils, which has a positive impact on their well-being and progress. There are very limited spaces available in either school.

Rationale for change

Over the past five years the proportion of pupils with ALN has risen, driving an increasing demand for special school places within Swansea. In response to this need, Swansea Council increased the planned places available at Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn in Spring 2021, by utilising a recently vacated Pupil Referral Unit. However, this provided a short-term solution, and a longer term, sustainable and flexible solution is now required to ensure that we continue to provide an excellent education for pupils in the coming years.

Swansea Council, as part of a wider review of specialist teaching provision across the local authority, is proposing the following changes to the current special school provision:

  1. Amalgamate Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn and Ysgol Crug Glas from 1 September 2025 on existing sites, in order to facilitate the transition to one school when the build is completed.
  2. Build a new Special School for 350 pupils at Mynydd Garnllwydd Road on land close to the existing Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn site which will be ready for occupation in April 2028.

The amalgamated school will have the following benefits:

  1. Schools operate as one, sharing best practice and whole school ethos and shared philosophy.
  2. Better able to adapt to meet the needs of all pupils including those with multiple needs.
  3. A single set of policies and procedures.
  4. The school would only require one governing body.
  5. Greater opportunities for staff continuing professional development.
  6. The school would have a larger team of staff than either of the existing schools, and this can provide staff with more opportunities to develop their skills across a different range of pupil needs and can enable the best use to be made of staff expertise.
  7. All pupils could benefit from all available facilities.
  8. Economies of scale and the most effective use of resources.

The new build school will have the following benefits:

  1. Increased places available for pupils in the area with complex and profound special educational needs.
  2. 21st Century School facilities to meet the needs of children with more complex needs and profound special educational needs.
  3. Improved indoor and outdoor learning environment for the children and young people attending the new school.
  4. Specialist provision and specialist resources with new facilities such as sensory rooms, specialist therapy rooms, therapeutic external learning environments etc. as well as a hydrotherapy pool facility integrated within the school building.
  5. More space and better provision for teaching young people life skills and vocational skills and with better play provision.
  6. More pupils can remain within the authority for their education.
  7. Flexibility to adapt to changing needs and increased demand.
  8. Improved opportunities for multi-agency working, as will no longer have separate school sites.
  9. Compliments the wider ALN strategy to provide a sufficient and flexible statutory provision available to children and young people in Swansea.
  10. School budgets targeted more appropriately and effectively on pupils, which means money is spent on education rather than building related items.
  11. Improved community use of areas (internal / external).
  12. Reduced carbon emissions.
  13. The new school build will have an appropriate number of classes and break out spaces for the number of planned places. These will be appropriate to the specific needs of pupils in the new school.
  14. The school will include modern rebound, soft and sensory areas, along with a hydrotherapy pool.
  15. Vocational areas will be provided (for example film areas, design and technology, catering) to further enhance the skills and experiences of pupils.

What are the potential disadvantages?

  1. Amalgamating two schools and moving pupils onto a new site will inevitably cause some disruption and uncertainty for a period of time, although experience shows that this can be kept to a minimum and that the children's education does not suffer.
  2. Some pupils may have to travel for longer to get to school and back if the new school building is further away from their home than that of their current school; however, some pupils will have a reduced journey time. Pupils will be supported with regards to any change in transport arrangements.
  3. There are significant capital costs associated with building the new school.
  4. There will be a small cohort of pupils that may have to receive out of county or private sector placements due to the severity of their needs or specific LAC status.

 

2. What would this proposal mean?

Stage 1 - Amalgamation

  1. Currently, Ysgol Crug Glas and Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn are two separate schools with two headteachers, two groups of staff, two separate budgets and two governing bodies.
  2. Although we use the term 'amalgamate', the two schools would close in legal terms on 31 August 2025 and a new Special School would be established on 1 September 2025 on the same sites and using the same buildings.
  3. The amalgamated school will be English medium and have a total number of 250 planned places for ages 3-19.
  4. There would be one headteacher, one group of staff and one budget. There would also be a single governing body.
  5. The school would continue continue to operate across all current sites initially, until the new build is ready for occupation.
  6. Transportation for the pupils will not change while the school is operating within the current sites and will remain in accordance with the council's policy for home-to-school transport.

Stage 2 - Relocation to the new school building

  1. The school will be relocated into the new school build at Mynydd Garnllwyd Road on 1 April 2028.
  2. The school's planned places would increase by 100 pupils and would therefore accommodate 350 pupils aged between 3-19.
  3. Of the 100 additional planned places, 95 will be G Band provision, which will provide local placements for pupils with the highest level of need, such as those pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties, severe learning difficulties and autism. The remaining places will be E Band provision for secondary aged pupils with severe learning difficulties.
  4. The residential provision will remain and the school will continue to allocate places as appropriate.
  5. Transportation arrangements for pupils would need to be reviewed, due to the change in school location, but this would be done in accordance with the council's policy for home-to-school transport, and parents will be consulted on these changes closer to the time.

Resourcing of education and other financial implications

  1. No capital funding is being sought for the amalgamation; however there will be revenue funding implications as the newly amalgamated school would receive one budget share, as opposed to two. This will be calculated using the approved funding formula and will account for the total of 250 planned places that the amalgamated school would have. When the school moves to the enlarged site the budget share will increase to reflect the new site and the 350 planned places.
  2. There is currently a shortfall of special school places within Swansea and this proposal will ensure that there are sufficient local places for those who need them in future. If provision is not increased pupils may have to travel out of county and / or be placed in the independent sector to receive the specialist education that they require at a substantial cost to the council.
  3. The new school build is to be financed through the Welsh Government's Sustainable Communities for Learning programme. The estimated total cost for the school build (including contingency) is expected to be £43,600,000 plus the cost of delivering to Net Zero Operational Carbon. The capital costs at this stage are indicative only and will be subject to detailed feasibility and design. The investment will be funded 75% Welsh Government, 25% council. It is expected that additional costs to deliver to Net Zero Operational Carbon would be met 100% by Welsh Government. This is subject to business case approval by Welsh Government.
  4. No decision has been made as to the future use of the existing sites once vacated, but it would be reviewed in line with the council's Asset Management Plan.
  5. Estimated budget information for the newly amalgamated school can be seen on Appendix D.

Governing body implications

  1. A temporary governing body would be established by the council, if the proposal proceeds, to take all appropriate action in advance of the new school being set up. This will include agreeing a staffing structure.
  2. The council will make the appointments to the temporary governing body (with the exception of the Community Governors who will be appointed by the temporary governing body). It is likely that many of the governors on the temporary governing body will be governors of the existing governing bodies in order to ensure continuity, although ultimately this would be a decision for the council.
  3. The existing schools' governing bodies will continue to operate until both schools are closed, ie. until the end of the summer term 2025. The temporary governing body will continue to operate until the new school's permanent governing body is constituted.

Staff implications

  1. The new school would be funded for one headteacher and one deputy. The governing body would need to appoint to these posts and may decide to have more than one deputy headteacher or assistant headteachers. Regulations state that the governing body may decide not to advertise nationally for the post of headteacher and deputy headteacher posts; however, the decision on how to appoint these posts lies with the governing body. Once the headteacher is appointed they would work closely with the temporary governing body in establishing a new staffing structure.

It is vitally important to ensure a smooth transition to seek to minimise any anxiety or uncertainty for affected staff. Regular communication and support provided to staff will be important so that progress can be reported, and staff kept informed. An appropriate consultation process must be undertaken with all employees and trade union representatives in relation to the new structure.

Transport implications

Transport arrangements will be made in accordance with Swansea Council's home to school transport policy.

Risks / dependencies of the proposals

This proposal is subject to this consultation process and subsequent statutory notice period. It is also subject to Welsh Government approval and funding, and local planning permission being granted.

The local authority projects the demand for special school places in Swansea to increase in future years beyond the number of places currently available. If status quo was to remain and demand for places increases, not all pupils who require a special school place would be offered a place within Swansea in future years, and out of county provision may need to be utilised. Out of county provision could have financial, resource and legal implications in future. Placing pupils in schools outside of Swansea may also have a negative impact on the wellbeing of pupils due to increased travel time for pupils.

Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn Residential Unit

The residential unit in Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn is a stand-alone building, CIW (opens new window) registered provision on the school site that currently provides some pupils aged 14-19 with the opportunity to stay overnight during the week. The purpose of the residential placement is an extension of educational provision over 24 hours to promote appropriate life skills in a realistic context.

It is not proposed to make any changes to the unit upon amalgamation of the two schools in September 2025. Once the new build is operational the offer for 24-hour curriculum will remain. Pupils aged 14-19 will continue to be identified to attend an overnight provision for 24-hour curriculum. This will continue to be available Monday - Thursday term time only for a maximum of 6 pupils per night.

Alternative options considered

In developing a preferred option, the council considered a range of alternative options.

Alternative options considered
Option 1Status quo

Discounted due to:

  • Insufficient capacity for projected pupil numbers on roll.
  • Existing buildings are not (at least in part) fit for purpose.
  • Split across three sites.
  • Does not meet the needs of existing pupils.
Option 2Amalgamate existing school on current sites (with no future increase in planned places)

Discounted due to:

  • Insufficient capacity for projected pupil numbers on roll.
  • Existing buildings are not (at least in part) fit for purpose and are split across three sites.
  • Will not bring benefits of all services on a single site and equality of provision.
  • Does not meet the needs of existing pupils.
  • Even with refurbishment the accommodation is unsuitable and insufficient.
  • May require temporary accommodation.
Option 3Amalgamate and extend Ysgol Crug Glas

Discounted due to:

  • Insufficient capacity for projected pupil numbers on roll and inability to extend sufficiently on constrained site.
  • The school(s) would still be on split sites.
  • Would not provide a suitable building.
  • Disruption to learners.
  • May require temporary accommodation.
Option 4Amalgamate and extend Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn

Discounted due to:

  • Insufficient capacity for projected pupil numbers on roll and inability to extend sufficiently on site, due to lack of outdoor space and current building condition issues.
  • The school would still be on split sites.
  • Would not provide a suitable building.
  • Disruption to learners.
  • May require temporary accommodation.
Option 5Amalgamate and build new school but without increase in planned placesDiscounted due to insufficient capacity for projected pupil numbers on roll.
Option 6Increase provision within mainstream STF provision

Discounted due to:

  • Insufficient capacity for projected pupil numbers on roll within timescale required.
  • Presents possible issues around ensuring the appropriate quality of provision and consistency.
  • Will not bring benefits of all services on a single site and equality of provision.
  • Would require new / remodelled / refurbished accommodation at various sites.
Option 7Work regionally to support growing demandDiscounted due to the distance for travel required and logistical challenges presented.
Option 8New special school build in addition to current provisionDiscounted as it does not address suitability issues of current school buildings and will not bring identified benefits of a central provision.

Site selection

An assessment of possible sites in the council's ownership that would be large enough to accommodate the special school, enabling sufficient indoor and outdoor spaces in accordance with the Department of Education's area guidelines for special schools was undertaken.

The existing Ysgol Crug Glas site is insufficient for even the existing pupil numbers, and whilst the existing Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn is large enough to accommodate all pupils it would not be possible to build the new special school without providing temporary accommodation for pupils.

The selected site in Mynydd Garnllwyd Road is almost adjacent to the existing Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn, with views across Parc Llewelyn, and we have undertaken ground investigations which indicate that the site is suitable for the proposed new build.

 

3. The consultation process

The consultation on this proposal will follow guidelines established by the Welsh Government, as stated in the School Organisation Code (2018).

Who will be consulted?

This document will be circulated to all interested parties, including the following:

Staff (teaching and support) - Ysgol Crug Glas and Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn
Governors and parents / carers - Ysgol Crug Glas and Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn
Governors and parents / carers of STFs within Swansea
All schools within Swansea*
Director of Education - all neighbouring authorities
Diocesan Director of Education - Church in Wales and RC
Estyn
Swansea Councillors
Local Community Councillors
Members of the Senedd (MS) / Members of Parliament (MP) for Swansea
Welsh Ministers
All relevant trade unions
Swansea Parent Carer Forum
Partneriaeth Regional Consortium
Local childcare providers
Family Information Service
Social Services
Local Police and Crime Commissioner
Welsh Language Commissioner
Local Health Board
Swansea Disability Forum

*Consultation document sent to headteacher and chair of governors of all primary and secondary schools in Swansea.

The consultation period

The consultation period for this proposal starts on 9 October 2023 and ends on 24 November 2023.

Consultees can submit their views in favour of or against a proposal. Responses received during the consultation period will not be treated as statutory objections. If consultees wish to object, they will need to do so in writing during the statutory objection period.

During the consultation period you can ask questions and express your views by writing a letter to the address below or by completing an online survey using the following link: Future plans for Special Schools in Swansea

Letters should be sent to the following address by no later than noon on 24 November 2023:

Helen Morgan-Rees
Director of Education
Civic Centre
Oystermouth Road
Swansea
SA1 3SN

or email: schoolorganisation@swansea.gov.uk

Consultation meetings

A number of consultation meetings will be held, and you are welcome to attend one of the below meetings.

You are also welcome to use the Welsh language in any of the meetings. We kindly ask that you inform us by emailing schoolorganisation@swansea.gov.uk by no later than Monday 23 October for us to make arrangements for simultaneous translation to be available at the meeting specified.

Staff, governors and parents / carers - school session at Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn
DateTuesday 7 November 2023
VenueYsgol Pen-y-Bryn, main site, Glasbury Road, Morriston, Swansea SA6 7PA
Meeting time for parents / carers1.30pm
Meeting time for governors2.30pm
Meeting time for staff3.30pm

 

Staff, governors and parents / carers - school session at Ysgol Crug Glas
DateWednesday 8 November 2023
VenueYsgol Crug Glas, Croft Street, Swansea SA1 1QA
Meeting time for governors2.30pm
Meeting time for staff3.30pm
Meeting time for parents / carers4.30pm

 

Daytime session at the Swansea Scout and Guide HQ - all interested parties
DateWednesday 15 November 2023
VenueSwansea Scout and Guide HQ, Bryn Road, Brynmill, Swansea SA2 0AU
Time1.00pm - 2.30pm

 

Virtual consultation meeting - all interested parties welcome
DateMonday 13 November 2023
VenueVirtual - Microsoft Teams. Link to be sent when interest is registered
Time11.00am - 12.00pm

To book onto the virtual consultation meeting, please email schoolorganisation@swansea.gov.uk

Please register your interest for the virtual consultation session by no later than Friday 3 November 2023. This will give us sufficient time to send you a virtual link and instructions ahead of the session.

Consultation with pupils

There will be an opportunity for the pupils of both schools to participate in the consultation process during class consultation sessions, which will be conducted at the schools with support from their teachers. The feedback from pupils during these sessions will be collated and considered. A pupil consultation paper, which outlines the proposal in a simplified format is also available, and this includes a pupil response slip that they can complete and send in if they wish.

Pupils can also access an online survey by following this link: Future plans for Special Schools in Swansea

The school pupil councils will also be consulted, and feedback from them will be included in the consultation report.

Consultation report

The information gathered from the consultation with pupils and other stakeholders will form part of the consultation report which will be submitted to Cabinet for consideration following the consultation period.

The consultation report will be published on Swansea Council's website at least 2 weeks before a decision is made by Cabinet as to whether to proceed to publish a statutory notice. Hard copies of the report will also be available on request. The report will summarise the observations submitted by consultees and provide Swansea Council's response to these observations. The report will also contain Estyn's view of the proposal and details of consultation undertaken with the pupils.

Cabinet will consider the consultation report and decide whether to proceed with the proposal.

Statutory notice

If Cabinet decide to go ahead, there would be a statutory procedure to follow to make the proposed changes. A statutory notice outlining the proposals would need to be published, inviting any formal written objections to be submitted within 28 days of publication of the notice.

The statutory notice will be published on Swansea Council's website and displayed at Ysgol Crug Glas and Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn. Copies of the notice will be made available to the school to distribute to pupils, parents / carers, and staff members (the school may also distribute the notice by email).

Statutory objection period

The statutory notice will set out the details of the proposal and invite anyone who wishes to object to do so in writing within a period of 28 days. If objections are received an objection report will be published on the Swansea Council website. Hard copies of the report will also be available on request. The report will summarise the issues raised and provide Swansea Council's response to those objections.

Determination of proposal

Swansea Council will determine the proposal. If there are objections, Cabinet will need to consider the objections to the proposal before making a final decision.

Decision notification

Following determination of proposals, all interested parties will be informed and advised of the availability of the decision which will be published electronically on Swansea Council's website.

The statutory process timetable

The statutory process and timetable will be as follows:
9 October 2023Issue of this consultation document to identified and other interested parties
24 November 2023Closing date for views on the proposal to be received by the Education Directorate
22 December 2023Publication of the Consultation Report
18 January 2024

The Consultation Report will be taken to Cabinet for a decision on whether or not to proceed to publish a statutory notice.

 If Cabinet decide to proceed to Statutory Notice the following dates apply
2 February 2024Publish Statutory Notice
5 March 2024End of the formal 28 day notice period for objections
18 April 2024Swansea Council will determine the proposal, taking account of objections received. Cabinet may wish to approve, reject or amend the proposal
1 May 2024Cabinet's determination of the proposals shared with all interested parties, and the decision letter will be published electronically on Swansea Council's website
1 September 2025Schools formally amalgamate if proposal approved
1 April 2028Estimated date of move to new school site if proposal approved

Integrated Impact Assessment

An Integrated Impact Assessment has been completed and the full assessment is available at Appendix A.

Welsh Language Impact Assessment

A full Welsh Language Impact Assessment can be found at Appendix B.

Community Impact Assessment

A Community Impact Assessment has been completed and the full assessment is available at Appendix C.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that children have the right to have a say in decisions that affect them and to have that view taken seriously. Therefore, throughout the process we will ensure that children and young people have a chance to have a say on the proposals and on how they think it will affect their rights under the convention.

 

4. Schools affected by this proposal

Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn
School nameYsgol Pen-y-Bryn
School locationYsgol Pen-y-Bryn, Glasbury Road, Morriston, Swansea SA6 7PA
CountySwansea
Age range3 - 19
School categorySpecial
Language mediumEnglish
Capacity195
Cost per pupil (2023-24)£23,668
School budget (2023-24)£4,615,241
Latest Estyn inspection reporthttps://www.estyn.gov.wales/provider/6707000
Building condition categorisationC+
Number of pupils on roll (January 2023)Nursery - 0
Primary - 22
11 - 16 - 97
Post 16 - 61
Total - 180
Total number of pupils on roll in last 5 years (PLASC data)January 2018 - 128
January 2019 - 146
January 2020 - 145
January 2021 - 150
January 2022 - 165
 January 2023 - 180
Pupil projectionsJanuary 2024 - Capped at 195
January 2025 - Capped at 195
January 2026 - Capped at 195
January 2027 - Capped at 195
January 2028 - Capped at 195

 

Ysgol Crug Glas
School nameYsgol Crug Glas
School locationCroft Street, Swansea SA1 1QA
CountySwansea
Age range3 - 19
School categorySpecial
Language mediumEnglish
Capacity55
Cost per pupil (2023-24)£36,360
School budget (2023-24)£1,999,824
Latest Estyn inspection reporthttps://www.estyn.gov.wales/provider/6707008
Building condition categorisationB
Number of pupils on roll (January 2023)Nursery - 0
Primary - 29
11 - 16 - 13
Post 16 - 11
Total - 53
Total number of pupils on roll in last 5 years (PLASC data)January 2018 - 57
January 2019 - 53
January 2020 - 53
January 2021 - 54
January 2022 - 53
 January 2023 - 53
Pupil projectionsJanuary 2024 - Capped at 55
January 2025 - Capped at 55
January 2026 - Capped at 55
January 2027 - Capped at 55
January 2028 - Capped at 55

 

5. Evaluation of the present arrangements

Quality and standards in education

It is not appropriate to compare the progress and achievements of pupils at Ysgol Crug Glas and Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn with national averages or to analyse trends in performance over time, or indeed to make comparisons in learner progress between the two schools. This is due to the specific range and complexity of additional learning needs of the pupils in each school. In both schools, there is no significant difference between the performance of all pupils and that of boys and girls, those pupils eligible for free school meals or those who are looked after by a local authority.

The pupils in both schools engage well in learning and make good progress from their initial starting points and in line with their particular needs and abilities. At both schools, pupils meet their personal targets and make strong progress towards fulfilling their potential.

Both schools have responded and adapted well to the challenges of the pandemic and have successfully re-established familiar routines and working relationships to support pupils and their families.

At Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn, all school leavers over the last 3 years have moved on to further education. At Ysgol Crug Glas, depending upon the level of ALN, pupils either progress to further education, or move on to day service provision upon leaving school.

Teaching and learning experiences

The quality of teaching and learning is high at both schools, which succeed in providing a range of excellent learning experiences to support learning, develop skills and meet the needs of all pupils.

Both schools are pioneer schools for Curriculum for Wales (CfW). Both schools have developed innovative approaches to shaping their curricula. The Film Skills offer at Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn is highlighted by Estyn as a particular strength of the school and is the subject of an Estyn best practice case study following its 2022 inspection. Ysgol Crug Glas is working with Welsh Government to develop authentic learning experiences for pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties as part of the 'Routes for Learning' development.

The high-quality learning experiences provided at both schools meet the diverse and complex learning needs of their pupils. Well planned interventions support pupils' access to the curriculum at both schools, with input from specialist medical and therapeutic staff, as appropriate.

Both schools place a strong emphasis upon pupils developing the skills that they need to become increasingly independent.

Both schools offer worthwhile opportunities to visit the local and wider community to enhance pupils' experiences, allowing them to apply skills in real life contexts.

Both schools have strong links with a variety of external professionals, to enhance learning, support progress and meet individual health needs.

Both schools have effective systems to provide pupils and their parents with useful information to understand the progress that they are making.

Care, support and guidance

Both schools provide a high level of care, support and guidance for their pupils. Staff know the needs of the pupils well and provide support that matches the learning and well-being needs of each pupil.

Both schools have effective procedures to promote awareness of healthy lifestyles and to develop pupils' wellbeing. There is extensive provision at the two schools for pupils to engage in activities that develop their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Multi-disciplinary working with a range of external professionals is effective at both schools. At Ysgol Crug Glas, teachers and teaching assistants deliver programmes set by therapists for individual pupils. These include the use of an appropriate range of communication aids and specialist equipment such as standing frames and seating adapted to the specific needs of individual pupils.

At Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn, there is a residential provision available for a small number of older pupils aged 14-19. This provision provides pupils with opportunities to develop life skills and preparation for independence outside the normal school day.

Both schools offer pupils valuable opportunities to take part in decision-making about important aspects of school life, such as the eco-committee and school council.

Both schools place a strong emphasis on ensuring that pupils are safe, providing staff and pupils with relevant, appropriate information on how to keep themselves safe in all situations across the curriculum.

Leadership and management

Leadership at both schools is very strong, with a firm focus on the development of pupil learning and well-being.

At Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn, the recently developed leadership team has strengthened the arrangements for school self-evaluation, resulting in a number of sustained improvements. Leadership roles are clear and well understood, with effective lines of communication in place, between staff and managers.

At Ysgol Crug Glas, the headteacher and senior leaders have achieved transformational changes in important aspects of the life and work of the school which has significantly improved the school's provision for its pupils.

Both schools benefit from supportive governors, who draw on their wide experiences to support and where necessary challenge leaders.

Impact of the proposal

If approved, in addition to increasing places available in Swansea for pupils with complex and profound ALN, the proposal will provide a high quality, 21st century learning environment equipped to meet the learning well-being and therapeutic needs of all its pupils.

It is our belief that pupils achieve better outcomes when the learning environment is of the highest quality. The need for an improved outdoor learning environment was indeed a recommendation in the recent Estyn Inspection in Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn. This proposal will ensure that the already high standards will be maintained, and indeed improved, as a result of this proposed investment.

The new school build will feature a range of internal and external environments, equipment and resources for pupils with ASC, M/SLD and PMLD that are flexibly designed to support changing needs. Such environments will include improved outdoor learning areas, an integrated hydrotherapy pool, sensory rooms, specialist therapy rooms and rebound therapy areas. This will enhance the learning, well-being and therapeutic experiences provided for all the pupils including independence and life skills and vocational skills. They will also facilitate the provision of occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, and nursing services where possible.

As a result of the proposal, these facilities and experiences would be available to all pupils on a single site, leading to the most efficient and effective deployment of such resources across the unified school. In this respect, the new school would also benefit from a larger, unified team of staff, providing access to a broader range of professional expertise to respond to pupils with a wider range of ALN. This could also serve to maximise professional learning opportunities for staff leading to an increase in the level of staff expertise.

Need for places and the impact on accessibility of schools

The council has considered the sufficiency of places and the likely demand for places in the future and this proposal has been brought forward in response to rising demand.

 

Glossary of abbreviations

Abbreviations
ALNAdditional Learning Needs
ANAdmission Number
EstynHis Majesty's Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales
FTEFull Time Equivalent
LALocal Authority
MCSWMeasuring the Capacity of Schools in Wales
MEPModernising Education Programme
M/SLDModerate to severe learning disabilities
NORNumber on Roll
PLASCPupil Level Annual School Census Data
PMLDProfound and multiple learning difficulties
PTPart time
SLDSevere learning difficulties
WESPWelsh in Education Strategic Plan
WGWelsh Government
ASCAutistic Spectrum Condition
ALNETAdditional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal
STFSpecialist Teaching Facility
CfWCurriculum for Wales
CIWCare Inspectorate Wales

 

6. Appendices

Appendix A - Integrated Impact Assessment (Word doc) [99KB]

Appendix B - Welsh Language Impact Assessment (Word doc) [24KB]

Appendix C - Community Impact Assessment - Ysgol Crug Glas (Word doc) [78KB]

Appendix C - Community Impact Assessment - Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn (Word doc) [78KB]

Appendix D - Financial Implications (Excel doc) [55KB]

Appendix E - Response Form (Word doc) [34KB]

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