Duffryn could be site of Newport Welsh secondary school
5:10am Thursday 8th May 2014 in Gwent news
PROPOSALS for a Welsh-medium secondary school to be provided at a Newport school site are to be considered on Monday.
Newport council’s cabinet are to be asked to support the further development “in principle” of a plan for Duffryn High School to be refurbished and extended so a new Welsh-medium school can start there.
The plans are at an early stage and would need to be weighed up alongside other proposals for the future of Welsh-medium secondary education in Gwent.
Currently children from Welsh-language schools outside Torfaen face being unable to attend the Welsh-medium secondary school, Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw in Pontypool, in 2016 when it will be over-subscribed.
The school currently serves pupils from Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire, Torfaen and Newport.
According to cabinet papers the proposal would see the Duffryn site modelled, refurbished and extended to allow alterations to the current premises so a Welsh-medium secondary school can develop there.
A statement issued to Duffryn High School said: “It is intended that each school will operate separately and exclusively.” Council papers show that Governors of Duffryn High and its headteacher are supportive of the use of their site.
The plan follows discussions among South East Wales consortia directors of education and their officers to come up with a solution for increasing demand for Welsh-medium secondary education.
Their preferred option was to develop two sites, one in the north of the region and one in the south. The Newport proposal is a possible option for the south site.
How affordable the scheme would be is being assessed, with funding not yet confirmed by the Welsh Government.
If Welsh Government funding is approved, a seedling school could be open by September 2016.
It isn’t clear yet how much the project would cost, but it is thought Welsh Government match funding and 21st Century Schools cash would be used.
Newport council's cabinet, which is led by Labour leader Bob Bright, will decide at a meeting on Monday whether to support the further development “in principle” of the Duffryn option for inclusion within a regional strategic outline case that will be submitted to the Welsh Government.
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