16 January 2012
Caerphilly County Borough Council is to consider plans to progress an ambitious scheme to transform the former St Ilan Comprehensive site in Caerphilly into a new Welsh school.
A meeting of Special Council will meet on Tuesday 17 January at 5pm to consider a report about Caerphilly's 21st Century Schools programme.
At the end of last year the Minister for Education and Skills announced that Caerphilly schools are set to receive £92m to fund ambitious plans for education in the area from 2014 to 2021.
However, there is an urgency to provide additional Welsh Medium secondary places with effect from September 2013. At the meeting on Tuesday, Councillors are recommended to proceed with Phase 1 of the planned St. Ilan development at an estimated cost of £3.5m. This would allow the admission of Year 7 pupils residing in the Caerphilly basin to St. Ilan with effect from September 2013.
This will form part of an overall strategy to develop a 3-16 campus with many shared facilities on the site, and the opportunity to offer some post-16 provision as well. The existing Fleur de Lys site would be the main 16-19 campus.
"These exciting plans will help address the increasing demand for Welsh medium places within the county borough," said Cllr Phil Bevan, CCBC cabinet member for education. "We welcome the funding decision from the Welsh Government that will start in 2014, but it is clear that we need to take immediate action now to address this demand and ensure local children receive the top class educational facilities they deserve."
The council's Cabinet agreed last week to support the recommendation to Special Council and members will be asked to give the plans the green light. The Cabinet added an additional recommendation that the council also approve the use of funds currently set aside so that progress can be made at the earliest opportunity on the St Ilan project.
At the moment there is only one Welsh secondary school in the area – Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni in Fleur de Lys – and forecasts show that there will be an over capacity of almost 1,000 places by September 2020.
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