Plans to increase the number of English-medium primary school places in Butetown, Adamsdown and Splott will go before Cardiff Council’s cabinet on Thursday.
One report recommends that the local authority begin a consultation on increasing English-medium places at Mount Stuart Primary School in Butetown – an area which has seen its number of English-medium reception age pupils almost double in the last six years from 22 in 2006 to 42 in 2012.
The report to cabinet goes on to say that based on NHS data, this number is likely to continue rising over the next four years, with a shortfall of 15 place projected by September 2015.
To combat this, this council proposes to consult on expanding Mount Stuart Primary School by 18 places from September 2015, using funds it hopes to secure through the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools Programme.
The report says the expansion would provide sufficient capacity to meet the needs of the growing number English-medium pupils in the area, while providing pupils with high quality, modern buildings for their schooling.
It adds that Cardiff Council is currently having to transport pupils within the Mount Stuart Primary area to schools more than two miles away because of the insufficient number of places, and expanding Mount Stuart would reduce these transport costs. The report recommends that cabinet authorise officers to begin a consultation on increasing Mount Stuart Primary’s capacity.
In Adamsdown and Splott, demand for English-medium reception primary school places has also increased in recent years, with numbers in the Willows High School catchment area – served by Adamsdown, Baden Powell, Moorland and Stacey Primary Schools – rising from 160 in 2006 to 209 in 2012.
Again, this number is expected to continue increasing, with a projected shortfall of 64 reception places across the area’s four primary schools by September 2015.
As a result, the council is proposing to expand Adamsdown, Baden Powell and Moorland Primary Schools. Stacey Primary School has also seen an increase in demand, but a feasibility study had indicated its site would not be suitable for expansion.
The report sets out three options for how the three chosen schools could be expanded.
The first, preferred option would see the number of reception places at Adamsdown increased from the current 30, to 60 from September 2015, and Baden Powell and Moorland Primary Schools from their current reception capacity of 60 places to 75.
Option two would also see the number of reception places at Adamsdown increased to 60, but at Baden Powell the number would go up to 90, while Moorland Primary would stay the same with 60.
The third option proposes raising the numbers of reception places at Adamsdown to 45, Baden Powell to 90, and Moorland to 75.
The report says option one is preferred because it allows for an incrase in places across the whole area, and an opportunity to invest in a greater number of school premises. However, it recommends that the cabinet give the go-ahead to a consultation on all three options.
Again, it is hoped that these expansions would be carried out as part of the 21st Century Schools Programme.
The report adds that once an option is chosen, a further consultation may be necessary in early 2014 on revising catchment areas for the Splott and Adamsdown schools.