CWMCARN ASBESTOS SCHOOL: Move to Ebbw Vale will cost £1.4m

South Wales Argus: TEMPORARY MEASURE: Cwmcarn sixth-formers having a history lesson at the school’s performing arts block last Friday TEMPORARY MEASURE: Cwmcarn sixth-formers having a history lesson at the school’s performing arts block last Friday

CWMCARN High School pupils will remain together for this academic year at least – after Caerphilly councillors agreed a £1.4 million relocation to Ebbw Vale.

All 937 students will journey about 15 miles to the former Coleg Gwent campus from November 5 after councillors unanimously agreed to the proposal.

However, the long-term future of the school is still unclear, following the discovery of asbestos there nearly two weeks ago.

An emergency meeting of Caerphilly council last night resolved the short-term future. But, asked about provisions for 2013-14, corporate director Sandra Aspinall said this will become clearer in the next fewmonths.

She said: “We will look at the work needed once the school is vacated and assess what needs to be done before determining how we move forward.”

Hundreds of parents packed the council chamber, with Ms Aspinall outlining four options for the rest of this academic year.

Three would have seen pupils either transferred to other schools or taught in temporary units at Cwmcarn, which would have led to redundancies, new teachers for youngsters and classrooms split.

She recommended the move to Ebbw Vale, saying it was the preferred option to “keep the school community together”.

Many youngsters now face a one-hour journey morning and afternoon, with Caerphilly councillors agreeing the authority should fund the £1,420,000 cost of re-commissioning the Ebbw Vale site, running costs and transport.

This will be met from an under-spend of £400,000 in the home-to-school transport budget, £200,000 from a schools contingency fund and £820,000 from general fund balances.

Cabinet member for education Rhianon Passmore called the situation “unprecedented”, paying tribute to the parents, pupils and staff, for the way they’ve dealt with the situation.

Members of all parties agreed the move, with parents delighted. Ann-Marie Croker has two children at Cwmcarn, which she called “an amazing school”, adding: “We want to keep the school community together”.

Emma Verrier agreed, adding: “It’s all about getting them back on the Cwmcarn site long-term.” PANEL We need to know risks say Lib Dems LIBERAL Democrat leader Kirsty Williams said she was “not surprised to see such a large number of schools having asbestos in their buildings”

after the Argus found that nearly 200 schools in Gwent have the hazardous building material.

Welsh education minister Leighton Andrews said last week that every local authority was to be asked for information on asbestos in schools.

“We need to know from the Welsh Government that it is to carry out a comprehensive register on the levels of risk associated with that asbestos and then a plan for dealing with it. That’s not what we’ve got from the government,”

she said.

Comments (4)

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3:11pm Wed 24 Oct 12

bobmech1 says...

What happens them
Is Cwmcarn going to be rebuilt?
Closed permanently?
All this will resurface again unless a decision is made and whatever work is decided to be ready for next September
What happens them Is Cwmcarn going to be rebuilt? Closed permanently? All this will resurface again unless a decision is made and whatever work is decided to be ready for next September bobmech1

4:48pm Wed 24 Oct 12

Cwmderi says...

Bobmech
I agree.
Director of Education has stated that things will become clear over the next few months but puts no flesh on the bone as to the future of the Cwmcarn school.

Councillor Passmore the Cabinet Member for Education Caerphilly council has paid tributes to the parents, pupils and staff for the way "THEY HAVE DEALT WITH THE SITUATION". Yet no mention whatsoever about her responsibilities or forward plan for the long term future of the school.
School report on these leaders should read "Must show leadership and direction in these testing times"
Bobmech I agree. Director of Education has stated that things will become clear over the next few months but puts no flesh on the bone as to the future of the Cwmcarn school. Councillor Passmore the Cabinet Member for Education Caerphilly council has paid tributes to the parents, pupils and staff for the way "THEY HAVE DEALT WITH THE SITUATION". Yet no mention whatsoever about her responsibilities or forward plan for the long term future of the school. School report on these leaders should read "Must show leadership and direction in these testing times" Cwmderi

1:36am Thu 25 Oct 12

Careful says...

To clarify the distance and journey times reported above. According to Google Maps, which I would regard as a typically reliable source of route planning, it reports that it should take 25 minutes to cover the 13 miles from CHS to Coleg Gwent Ebbw Vale. Its a direct route, purely via A grade road from "door to door", with much of it at the national speed limit. In fact the time passes quite quickly.Its quite easy to check for yourself.
To clarify the distance and journey times reported above. According to Google Maps, which I would regard as a typically reliable source of route planning, it reports that it should take 25 minutes to cover the 13 miles from CHS to Coleg Gwent Ebbw Vale. Its a direct route, purely via A grade road from "door to door", with much of it at the national speed limit. In fact the time passes quite quickly.Its quite easy to check for yourself. Careful

7:46pm Mon 29 Oct 12

16doughnut says...

Such a shame for the pupils new to the school this term. Just when they were settling in.

Question - I hope that the cost of transport from Newport ( where my grandson lives) to Ebbw Vale is going to be reimbursed to his parents?

Question- I hope no pupils or staff members find that they have been affected by this abestos leak 20 or 30 years down the line? Who wil pay then?

Joan Williams
Such a shame for the pupils new to the school this term. Just when they were settling in. Question - I hope that the cost of transport from Newport ( where my grandson lives) to Ebbw Vale is going to be reimbursed to his parents? Question- I hope no pupils or staff members find that they have been affected by this abestos leak 20 or 30 years down the line? Who wil pay then? Joan Williams 16doughnut

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