Primary school provision in Cathays and parts of Gabalfa, Heath, Llandaff North and Plasnewydd Plans to be renewed and i


A report to Cardiff Council's Cabinet will recommend plans are approved to reorganise primary school provision to serve Cathays and parts of Gabalfa, Heath, Llandaff North and Plasnewydd.

At its meeting on Thursday 18 January 2024, the Cabinet will also review the five objections received to the statutory notice published in respect of the proposals.

Cardiff Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas said: "Following a public consultation with schools, governors, parents and children earlier this year, the latest proposals have been designed to improve learning opportunities and support schools with financial pressures currently being experienced in the area.

"If agreed, the reorganisation of four primary schools will also help 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 proposals include:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Transferring St Monica's Church in Wales Primary School to the current Ysgol Mynydd Bychan site allowing the school to have nursery provision, following agreement of the Governing Body of St Monica's Church in Wales Primary School.

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.

The Governing Body of Ysgol Mynydd Bychan raised concerns around the condition and running costs of the Allensbank school building and whether it could be adapted to provide similar facilities to those at the existing Ysgol Mynydd Bychan site.

The report clarifies that Welsh Government capital funding of £1.8m has been secured by the Council to enable the expansion of Welsh Medium education and would be utilised to make any necessary changes to the buildings and external areas. The Council, in partnership with the Ysgol Mynydd Bychan Governing Body, would identify and agree priorities for the investment.

The overall operational energy performance rating of both Allensbank and Ysgol Mynydd Bychan is ‘C' with each school receiving funding for energy usage within its delegated budget. 

Ysgol Mynydd Bychan's budget would increase in line with the greater number of pupils on roll and the school would be supported to plan and prioritise spending with a dedicated local financial management officer providing advice.

Cllr Thomas added: "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.

"It is critical that funding available is used to maximise benefits for all learners and keeping the existing pattern 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."

The Ysgol Glan Ceubal Governing Body raised concerns that the number of pupils applying for the school may be impacted by the expansion of Ysgol Mynydd Bychan.

The catchment area of Ysgol Glan Ceubal is sufficiently sized to support a one form entry Welsh-medium primary school and to allow for a growth in take up consistent with the targets set in Cardiff's approved Welsh in Education Strategic Plan. Future changes to catchment areas could be brought forward to provide a balance between the number of places available, and the projected demand for places, and could allow for an increase in take up in Welsh-medium places across the wider area.

"Over the last ten years the increasing demand for Welsh-medium places in Cardiff has been supported by opening new schools and by expanding existing Welsh-medium schools. These proposals to transfer provision between sites in close proximity to each other 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 turn this will support the Council's commitment to develop Welsh-medium education and deliver on Welsh Government targets set out in ‘Cymraeg 2050' said Cllr Thomas.

"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 and maximise 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, 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."

The proposed changes for each option could take effect from September 2025.

To read the report in fullwhich will also be considered byChildren and Young People Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on Monday, 15th January, 2024 at 4.30 pmgo to:Agenda for Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee on Monday, 15th January, 2024, 4.30 pm : Cardiff Council (