New schools in preparation for Rhondda Cynon Taf
Education is one of the main responsibilities of local councils in Wales and the United Kingdom.
In the Valleys, many projects are underway to create new schools or school places.
From a new special school to Â£ 85million plans for new schools and school buildings to a new middle Welsh primary school, there are plenty of projects underway.
Here we focus on some of the new schools currently planned for Rhondda Cynon Taf that are expected to come to fruition over the next few years.
New primary in Welsh at Rhydyfelin
In November, plans were officially submitted for a new Â£ 12.5million Welsh-language primary school in Rhydyfelin.
The new school would be built where the current bilingual Heol y Celyn Primary School is located and is part of a larger Â£ 55million RCT Council education overhaul in the Pontypridd area that would see Heol y Celyn close.
The new school would open in September 2024.
Heol y Celyn is currently a bilingual school and will see a change in the catchment area as the new school will also include students from Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Pont Sion Norton which is about five kilometers from Heol y Celyn and is also expected to close under the larger plans for the schools of Pontypridd.
The new school would have a capacity of 540 pupils aged 3 to 11 and 60 places for kindergarten.
Plans also include a new multi-purpose playground, a new playground, staff parking and an on-site bus drop-off area.
New special school at RCT
In October, the consultancy firm gave its support to the project of a new special school in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
The number of special schools in RCT should be increased from four to five in order to create more capacity and reduce the pressure on existing schools.
A review has been carried out on the board’s special school supply and there are currently 600 students entering education in four special schools in RCT.
These are the Maesgwyn special school in Cwmdare, the Park Lane special school in Trecynon, Ysgol Hen Felin in Ystrad and Ysgol Ty Coch in Tonteg which includes a satellite base in Buarth y Capel in Ynysybwl.
The cabinet report said that there had been a steady increase in the number of students at both Ysgol Hen Felin and Ysgol Ty Coch.
Â£ 85million for new schools in Llanharry, Cymmer, Glyncoch, Penrhys, Llantwit Fardre and Talbot Green
There are plans to spend Â£ 85million on new schools and school buildings in the Rhondda Cynon Taf areas.
The proposed projects include the modernization and replacement of the majority of the existing buildings at Ysgol Llanhari, the creation of a new 3-19 school throughout at the existing Ysgol Cwm Rhondda site or the construction of a brand new school on an alternative site, and a new primary school in English. provision for Glyncoch to replace the two existing schools.
They also include a new special school to meet growing demand and new 21st century schools for Penrhys Primary, Maesybryn Primary in Llantwit Fardre and Tonysguboriau Primary in Talbot Green.
They are part of the latest plans for the council’s 21st Century Schools program
New school buildings in Llantrisant, Llantwit Fardre and Pontyclun
In July, it was revealed that the board would seek funding for new buildings for three RCT schools.
The cabinet-approved report suggested that the council submit a business case to the Welsh government to fund three new school buildings in Llantrisant, Llantwit Fardre and Pontyclun.
The 21st century school projects would relate to the primary schools of Penygawsi, Llanilltud Faerdref and Pontyclun.
They would be funded through a Mutual Investment Model (MIM) that involves private sector partners who build and maintain public assets, and in return, the council backed by Welsh government funding will pay a fee to the private partner, which will cover the cost of construction, maintenance and financing of the project.
At the end of the 25-year contract period, the assets revert to the board.
The cabinet report said the three schools are in areas of rapid housing development and all need investment to become fully accessible and up to 21st century school standards.
He also said that all three have access issues and are at the end of their useful life and it is hoped that schools can be designed to meet all requirements for Net Zero Carbon goals.
The goal is to get planning approval by December 2021 for all three and, if successful, the planned construction period for each school is expected to extend from summer 2022 to early 2024.
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