Renewing and improving primary school provision in Cathays and parts of Gabalfa, Heath, Llandaff North and Plasnewydd


The outcome of a public consultation on plans to reorganise primary school provision to serve Cathays and parts of Gabalfa, Heath, Llandaff North and Plasnewydd has been published.

Cardiff Council’s Cabinet have been informed of the213 responses received on new proposals which aim to achieve the correct balance of English and Welsh medium primary provision so that current and future demand in the area can be met.

The consultation with schools, governors, parents and children concluded in June with three potential options included in the plans. Each proposal was designed to improve learning opportunities and to provide support with financial pressures currently being experienced by schools in the area.

The Cabinet have agreed to proceed with the most favourable of the three proposals which includes: 

  • Transferring Ysgol Mynydd Bychan to the current Allensbank Primary School site.
  • Increasing the capacity of Ysgol Mynydd Bychan from 192 places (0.9FE) to 420 places (2FE) and increase the number of nursery places at Ysgol Mynydd Bychan from 64 to 96.
  • Amalgamating Allensbank and Gladstone Primary Schools to establish a new 420 place (2FE) English-medium Primary School with nursery on the current shared Gladstone Primary School / St Monica's Church in Wales Primary School site.

The Governing Body of St Monica's Church in Wales Primary School will also consider whether to proceed with its proposal to transfer to the Ysgol Mynydd Bychan site, allowing the school to havenursery provision where children could start benefiting from the good work of the school at an earlier stage as well as improved early years accommodation and a larger outdoor area.

The speech and language early intervention class currently hosted by Allensbank would continue and could transfer to the new school, subject to agreement of the new school's Governing Body, or could transfer to an alternative school in September 2025.

Cardiff Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas said: "An interim proposal for Ysgol Mynydd Bychan and Allensbank Primary School was consulted on at the start of 2021, and having listened to the feedback, it was agreed that a long-term plan to address school places in the area was required.

"A new set of options were carefully devised to ensure that there continues to be the right number ofEnglish-medium places provided within improved facilities in the Cathays and Gabalfa wards, and that these are organised in a way that supports the schools in becoming more sustainable whilst addressingdemand for Welsh Medium places.

"Following the latest consultation, the proposed option to be taken forward, would help to rebalance the number of Welsh and English medium school places meaning that a greater number of children will gain entry to their local school. In addition,by reusing existing assets more efficiently and through collaborative working, the schools involved would enjoy a number of benefits including improved resources and learning opportunities for pupils and staff. The proposal keeps all the existing buildings so the school community can be reassured there will be sufficient places to respond to any future population changes."

A number of positive views were expressed during the consultation, and it was recognised that by amalgamating Allensbank and Gladstone Primary Schools, deficit budget positions could be resolved and resources invested in teaching and learning. It would be an exciting opportunity for two English-medium community schools to form one larger primary school which would ensure a smooth transition for pupils from the age of three through to the local high school.

The proposal would retain the buildings currently in use and their future use as primary schools and allow for the expansion of Welsh-medium education as well as the existing number of English medium places.

Some concerns raised were around the expansion of Welsh medium provision by increasing provision at Ysgol Mynydd Bychan and the impact this may have on the school and other local Welsh medium primary schools. The impact any changes would have on children with additional learning needs was also referred to and the potential for increased traffic around school sites.

Cllr Thomas added: "We acknowledge the concerns raised in the consultation and these will be addressed as plans progress. It is critical that funding available is used to maximise benefits for all learners and keeping the existingpattern of school provision would not provide the most appropriate arrangement of provision in the area. These proposals allow the Council to bring forward investment at each of the school sites, to maintain and further improve on the high quality of provision offered by the existing schools."

"It is the responsibility of the Council to ensure that there is an appropriate balance in the number and different types of school places serving each area, with a sustainable level of surplus places. Each school provision offered must meet the diverse needs of the communities they serve andmaximise the potential of its teaching and learning staff to ensure best use of resources, thereby securing the greatest impact on learner opportunities and outcomes for all. In addition, theplans will support the Council's commitment to develop Welsh-medium educationanddeliver on Welsh Government targets set out in ‘Cymraeg 2050'.

The extensive report into the consultation process will now be debated by the Council's Cabinet at its next meeting on Thursday, October 19.


You can read the report in full here: