PARENTS and teachers in Abergavenny will have a chance soon to have their say on an ambitious £50 million plan for a major shake-up of schools in the town.

Monmouthshire council’s cabinet has agreed to launch a consultation on the plans for the county’s first all-through school on the site of King Henry VIII School.

Under the plans, the school would cater for children aged four-19 years, with places for 30 nursery pupils, 420 primary pupils, 1,200 students aged 11-16 and 200 sixth-formers.

Specialist provision for children with complex neurodevelopmental and learning needs will also be included, with accommodation for 71 pupils provided.

The school would replace Abergavenny’s Deri View Primary School and King Henry VIII School, which would form the respective primary and secondary elements of the new development on the same site from 2024.

It would represent an investment of £50.2 million, with 65 per cent of the cost funded by Welsh Government and 35 per cent by the council as part of its 21st century schools programme.

Cllr Richard John, cabinet member for children, young people and Mon Life, spoke in support of the plans at a cabinet meeting yesterday.

“This is a massive investment of £50 million in the education of children and young people in the Abergavenny area,” he said.

“It’s impossible to understate the scale of this project.”


Cllr John said the project would also extend provision for children with autistic spectrum disorder in the county, something the council vowed to do when it closed Mounton House school last year.

The plans would also enable Welsh-medium school Ysgol Gymraeg Y Fenni to move to the current site of Deri View Primary School, doubling its capacity to 420 pupils.

Council leader Cllr Peter Fox said the project was a “fantastic opportunity”.

“Hopefully this building will be able to serve many generations of children ahead of us,” he said.

Will McLean, chief officer for children and young people, said he hoped people would take part in the consultation on the project, which he said would be “a hugely significant investment for the town”.

The consultation is expected to start on April 26, with the deadline for submitting comments on June 6.

A final cabinet decision on the proposal is expected to take place in November.

A council report says that creating a new school was favoured over extending the age range at King Henry VIII or Deri View Primary Schools.

“In order to achieve our stated aim of establishing Monmouthshire’s first all-through school we believe that closing both schools and establishing a new school is the fairest and most equitable approach,” it says.

“There is a risk that if one school has its age range extended and one school closes it could be perceived as a takeover.”

Evidence suggests all-through schools are able to raise attainment by minimising typical dips in pupil performance during transition and through teacher awareness of previous learning.