THE consultation into proposals to close two Cwmbran schools, which saw more than a thousand people turn out at meetings on the issue, is closing closes today (MARCH 31).
The proposal sets out plans to close Llantarnam School and Fairwater High School and invest a £6 million investment from Torfaen’s 21st Century Schools programme to refurbish the current Fairwater site, which could re-open in September 2015.
A crowd of around 750 people attended the meeting at Llantarnam School on March 18 to discuss the proposals, while more than 300 people gathered at Fairwater High School the following night as the consultation process continued.
But a row broke out over which school site should be refurbished.
The Education Action Group argue that the Llantarnam site should be refurbished instead and a petition collected over 650 signatures.
Llantarnam School governor, Sue Tamplin said parents are concerned children will be in demountable classrooms on the Fairwater site for up to three years. which
That would not be required on the Llantarnam site, which has a capacity of 1,475, which is higher than the projected figures of the new school of 1,318 pupils in 2015.
But Fairwater’s capacity is 1,312.
She said Llantarnam School needs less money spent on it for a refurbishment and parents were worried over children learning on a building site.
At the Llantarnam School meeting, Faye Brand, 36, a mother of two pupils at the school, said: “We understand the two schools have to merge, but we also understand it’s not cost effective at the moment. Our main concern is they can’t say for certain our children won’t be taught in demountables.”
However, the Fairwater School’s head teacher, Helen Coulson, agreed with the proposal, and believes that the school can accommodate all the pupils.
Torfaen council said closing Fairwater and Llantarnam Schools and creating a single secondary school should help tackle the issue of surplus places for both schools.
Fairwater School is proposed as the most suitable site because of its more central location.
Currently It is assumed at this time the current sixth form provision will remain, although there are on-going discussions with Coleg Gwent and Welsh Government on the future of post-16 education in Torfaen.
These current proposals would save the council £698,000 a year.
The Fairwater site refurbishment will be carried out between 2015 and 2017.
Llantarnam School would close, a primary school would be built on site and excess land sold off.
The consultation closes at 5pm today. For details information visit https://mysay.torfaen.gov.uk