Council's blueprint for Cardiff schools future

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Lansdowne primary school, Canton
Image caption,
The council's original proposal was to close Lansdowne primary school, Canton but this will remain open

Cardiff Council has set out its blueprint for schools in the city over the next 15 years and beyond.

The plan will form the basis of bids for Welsh Assembly Government funding, aimed at addressing surplus places and the backlog of school repairs.

It includes a proposal, revealed last month, to build a new £9m replacement school for Ysgol Treganna in Canton.

Council leader Rodney Berman said they were looking to "secure as much funding as possible".

The proposals, described as a "vision for the future of education in Cardiff", were put forward to the council's schools committee on Friday.

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

Mr Berman, who is chair of the committee, said it marked "another step forward" in meeting demand for Welsh-medium provision.

"This proposal, which would create a brand new school with excellent modern facilities, is an absolute priority for us," he said.

"We understand the uncertainty that has been facing parents and the local community over the future of Ysgol Treganna and we want give our reassurances that our commitment to resolve this issue and provide the best possible educational opportunities for the city's children remains strong."

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

On the wider proposals, Mr Berman said they would be looking to maximise funding for "considerable investment" in the bid to the assembly government's 21st Century Schools Programme, which was launched with the Welsh Local Government Association.

Councils are being urged to put forward strategic plans for their schools by Education Minister Leighton Andrews, rather than bidding for money on a case-by-case basis.

Funding will be available from 2012 and it is believed it will continue, in three year cycles, for 15 years or more.

The city plans include bringing together more nursery pupils at primary schools to create "all-through" schooling for three to 11-years-old.

Mr Berman said: "We have already ploughed around £165m into school buildings throughout Cardiff since 2007 and this latest set of proposals will allow us to further address the issues we are still facing such as surplus places, inadequate school buildings and an increase in demand for Welsh-medium provision.

"The investment would enable us to ensure we have the right sized schools in the right places across the city."

He said they also hoped to "absolutely transform" information and communications technology (ICT) in schools across the city.

The proposals will now go to the council executive.

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