New £9m Ysgol Treganna plan for Cardiff may end dispute

Plans to build a new Welsh medium primary school in Cardiff are to be unveiled.

It could end a dispute between the city council and the assembly government over school reorganisation.

Original plans to move Ysgol Treganna in Canton to the site of the English medium Lansdowne School were rejected by First Minister Carwyn Jones.

Cardiff council said building a new £9m school was now the only viable option left open.

Under the new proposal Cardiff Council plan to build a new school for Ysgol Treganna by 2013 on land in Sanatorium Road in Canton area already owned by the council.

The assembly government would be expected to contribute much of the funding towards the £9m cost.

Under the plan Tan yr Eos school would merge with Treganna on the new site.

Radnor primary school would inherit the space vacated by Treganna on the site they currently share.

Cardiff's executive member for schools and lifelong learning, Councillor Freda Salway, said: "The demand for Welsh-medium education is growing and this has been compounded by the fact that the population has been rising in that part of the city for the last three years.

"This could be the start of a trend and with the first minister rejecting our last proposal officers have decided that the only option now available is to build a new school.

"This proposed school would have three forms of entry and a nursery, offering excellent modern facilities aimed at meeting the anticipated demand for Welsh-medium education as well as catering for pupils currently attending Treganna and the new Welsh-medium starter class 'Ysgol Tan-yr-Eos' at Ninian Park Primary School.

The proposal would also mean that English-medium provision in the Canton area would remain as it is."

Image caption Radnor primary school would move into Ysgol Treganna's building

Council leader Rodney Berman said: "This is an absolute priority for us. The interests of the children are paramount in all this and I have really felt for the parents of Treganna who have been faced with so much uncertainty for so long."

'Absolute outrage'

He added: "Some issues should transcend politics and schools reorganisation is certainly one of those. Everyone now needs to pull together to give the children of Canton the best possible educational provision we can."

Local Labour councillors in Canton welcomed the proposed solution to a "dire situation."

In a statement, Cerys Furlong, Richard Cook and Ramesh Patel said: "The growing demand for Welsh medium education in the area is well documented but we are pleased to see that the council now highlight the rising demand for English medium education in the area as well."

There has been controversy since the school shake-up was first unveiled nearly three years ago.

The council's original proposals to close Lansdowne school to make room for an enlarged Ysgol Treganna, which parents argue is heavily oversubscribed, were thrown out by the first minister in May.

His decision to block Cardiff council's plans proved deeply unpopular with many within Plaid Cymru, Labour's assembly government coalition partners.

Plaid's education spokesperson Nerys Evans called the decision "an absolute outrage" and said it denied parents the right to educate their children through the medium of Welsh.

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