GWENT councils are due to hear back from Welsh Government officials within the next fortnight over plans to build a new Welsh school on the site of an existing Newport secondary, the Argus understands.
Last month we revealed the scheme is finally taking shape after an outline proposal was submitted to Welsh Government to set up a Welsh school on the same site as Duffryn High School in Newport.
Campaigners have long warned that Gwent’s only Welsh-medium secondary school which accepts pupils from out of county, Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw in Pontypool, will be full by 2016 and have been calling on politicians for more than a year to name a new site.
A Newport council cabinet report published in the spring put forward three options, the first being to refurbish Duffryn High School in Newport and establish a separate Welsh school to share the same site, financed by Newport, Monmouthshire, Blaenau Gwent and Welsh Government.
The second was to find a site in Monmouthshire and bus Newport pupils to the north of Gwent, while the third option was to develop two sites, one in the north and another in the south, namely Newport.
The new build would provide “seedling provision” from September 2016 for around 70 to 80 pupils, rising to 500 by 2020, and 770 by 2021/22.
Despite the South East Wales Consortium initially backing the third option, the Argus reported last month that a strategic outline business case has been submitted to Welsh Government backing the Duffryn plan which involves “significant...capital investment for remodelling, refurbishing and extension” of the school.
If this is approved by Welsh Government, the consortia would then start work on a more detailed business case.
Monmouthshire’s 21st Century programme manager Simon Kneafsey said in a statement that they expected to hear by mid-August if the plan is accepted.