Further details of city’s £284m school investment released by Cardiff council
The detailed plan behind the largest single investment in Cardiff schools has been revealed.

The £284m investment is jointly funded by the local authority and Welsh Government, as part of band B of the 21st Century Schools programme starting in 2019. This includes: 

Secondary Schools

·         Rebuilding and expanding three high schools - Willows, Cathays and Cantonian

·         Rebuilding Fitzalan High, and

·         Expanding Cardiff High to accommodate 1,500 pupils, up from the current 1,200, plus sixth form

The five secondary school schemes would create an extra 8 forms of entry, meeting an increase in demand predicted to come into effect from 2019. It would also result in the three secondary schools in Cardiff with the lowest rating in terms of condition of the buildings - Willows, Fitzalan and Cantonian - being completely replaced. 

Primary Schools

·         Nant Caerau, Fairwater and Pen y Pil doubling in size, with each being able to accommodate 420 pupils, plus nursery

·         St Mary the Virgin will be rebuilt, doubling in size from its current 210 pupil capacity

Special Schools

Cardiff’s band B proposals include an expansion and re-shaping of special needs provision for the city. Four new special schools will be built, realigning provision to best meet the needs of children and young people with profound and multiple learning difficulties, autism, severe and complex learning disabilities and emotional health and wellbeing needs.

Commenting on the proposals, Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: “The £284m investment in our schools is the biggest Cardiff has ever seen. It will allow us to increase the momentum we have established through the exciting range of new schools we have delivered with Welsh Government over recent years, and continue to create inspiring, sustainable, community-focussed schools in which all children and young people can achieve their potential.

“Not only will our next round of investment allow us to continue to renew our schools, replacing those that are reaching the end of their operational life, but it will also enable us to provide more school places across all sectors – primary, secondary, additional learning needs, English-medium and Welsh-medium – creating the extra capacity that will be needed as Cardiff’s population continues to grow.”

Schemes being delivered in Cardiff under the city’s current (Band A) £164m 21st Century Schools programme include:

·         Ysgol Bro Edern, a new 6 form entry Welsh-medium secondary school, established in 2012

·         Ysgol Melin Gruffydd expanded to 2 forms of entry in 2012

·         Ysgol Treganna expanded to 3 forms of entry in brand new buildings, on a new school site in 2013

·         Opening Pontprennau in 2015, a brand new 2 form of entry primary school

·         Ysgol y Wern expanded to 2.5 forms of entry in 2015 (and later to 3 forms of entry in 2016)

·         Building a new home for Eastern High school, Eastern Community Campus shared with Cardiff and Vale College, opening in January 2018

·         The new building for Howardian Primary School set to open in 2018

·         Construction of the £36m permanent home for Cardiff West Community High School

·         A new 2 form entry Welsh-medium primary school, Ysgol Hamadryad, established in 2016 - moving to a brand new school building on a new site in Butetown in 2018

·         Work has started on a brand new school building for Ysgol Glan Morfa, in Splott, built on a new site and doubling in size to 2 form entry in 2018

·         A brand new school is being built for Gabalfa Primary School and Ysgol Glan Ceubal, in Llandaff North, due for completion in 2018

Cllr Merry added: “Our plans include a commitment to expanding Welsh medium provision and parental choice in Cardiff.

“Since 2012 we have significantly increased capacity in Welsh-medium education across the city and we are in the process of building a further three new Welsh-medium primary schools. The proposals in band B will build on this with the expansion of two further Welsh-medium primary schools. 

“As well as our Welsh in Education Strategic Plan, Cardiff 2020 – our renewed vision for education and learning in Cardiff – makes a clear and unequivocal commitment to provide more school places, ensuring that provision is available to all families who choose a Welsh-medium education.”

The projects included in the cabinet report would each be subject to consultation and planning.

Cabinet will discuss the report when it meets on Thursday, December 14, and a full copy is available to read online at