Cardiff Council to consider reviewing proposals to shut Glan-yr-Afon Primary

A Cardiff Council report has recommended that the proposals to reduce the number of surplus school places in Llanrumney, which included closing Glan-yr-Afon Primary School, should be reviewed. 

The recommendation, which will be considered by the local authority's Cabinet when it meets on Thursday, December 13, has been put forward in response to concerns raised during a public consultation held in September and October. 

The issues raised by parents and other stakeholders include concerns about getting to school if Glan-yr-Afon closes, the impact the closure would have on the children, and the loss of education provision in the area. 

Based on latest figures published in January 2018, 261 (19.4%) of the 1,342 primary school places available in Llanrumney are unfilled. However, in Glan-yr-Afon that proportion is significantly higher, with 140 (47.9%) of its 292 places unfilled. 

Pupil numbers is a significant factor in determining the level of school funding, so while other options are being explored, a proposal to reduce the capacity of Glan-yr-Afon to 210 places would be taken forward, a move intended to reduce running costs at the school, and to reduce the pressure on its finances. 

The law requires local authorities to consult on changes to school admissions arrangements. The reduction in capacity at Glan-yr-Afon would be introduced in September 2020, in order to comply with the required consultation timescales. 

Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council, and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: "I said throughout the consultation that we would listen to the concerns of the Glan-yr-Afon parents, and this recommendation to keep the school open while we look at other options is a clear indication of that commitment. 

"The issue of there being too many primary school places in Llanrumney remains a significant cause for concern however, placing a huge financial strain on schools in the area. 

"This is particularly the case in Glan-yr-Afon, which has the highest proportion of unfilled places of any school in the area. The size of the school, combined with the low number of pupils, means that unless something is done, it will continue to face severe financial difficulties. 

"Finding the right solution to address surplus primary school places in Llanrumney is therefore a priority, and further options will need to be explored and considered moving forward." 

If Cabinet agree the recommendations on Thursday, a further report setting out details of how the provision of primary school places in Llanrumney can be addressed will be considered at a later date to be decided.