South East Wales

Rhondda Cynon Taf shake-up could see 11 schools close

Llwyncelyn Infants' School Image copyright Jaggery
Image caption Llwyncelyn Infants' School is one of the schools that would close under the proposals

Three secondary and eight primary schools could close to make way for three "superschools" as part of a £75m shake-up in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

The proposals would see two new schools for three to 16-year-olds in Porth and Tonypandy, and a school in Tonyrefail for three to 19-year-olds.

Two sixth form centres of excellence would also be created.

Councillors will debate the reorganisation plans on Thursday.

If given the go-ahead, the changes would be implemented by 2018.

The wide-ranging proposals - which the council says are "bold and complex" would include:

  • Creating a new 3-16 middle school for Porth and lower Rhondda - Involves closing Porth County Community School in its current form, Llwyncelyn Infants' School, Porth Infants' School, and Porth Junior School and creating a new 3-16 middle school on the site of the current Porth County Community School.
  • Creating a new 3-16 middle school for Mid Rhondda - This would see the closure of Tonypandy Community College in its current form, Penygraig Infants' School, Penygraig Junior School, Tonypandy Primary School and Ysgol Yr Eos Primary School to create a new 3-16 middle school on the site of the current Tonypandy College. It also proposes relocating the specialist primary pupil referral provision at the Tai Centre, Penygraig to the site of the existing Ysgol Yr Eos Primary School.
  • Creating a new 3-19 school for Tonyrefail - Involves reorganising Tonyrefail Comprehensive School and Tonyrefail Primary School to create a new 3-19 middle school on the site of the existing comprehensive school. In addition the report proposes relocating Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tonyrefail to the current Tonyrefail Primary School.

The report proposes closing sixth forms at Ferndale Community School, Porth County Community School and Tonypandy Community Colleg and transferring students to new sixth form centres of excellence at Tonyrefail and Treorchy.

Some 100 extra Welsh language places would also be created at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llwyncelyn by using the site of the existing Llwyncelyn Infants' School.

The £75m investment would see improvements to a number of other schools in the area.

'Surplus places'

Councillor Andrew Morgan, the council leader, said the focus of the reorganisation was on "raising educational standards".

"To achieve such a radical shift in education delivery the report includes options to merge a number of schools to tackle the significant amount or surplus places we have to address," said Mr Morgan.

"If supported by cabinet... I will want to ensure that this bold and complex solution to the challenges we face is consulted upon fully with pupils, parents, governors and teachers.

"This proposal has the potential to deliver the step change in educational attainment we want to see and achieve for our young people and deliver school facilities truly fit for the 21st century."

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