A CONTROVERSIAL £152 million bid to transform education in Blaenau Gwent was passed by executive members yesterday.

If the Assembly grants the bid, many schools will be rebuilt, refurbished, or remodelled - but some councillors are concerned that, by not detailing which schools face closure, widespread anxiety could break out over the future of all schools.

Welsh councils have until tomorrow to submit bids to the Assembly for funding to improve school buildings and cut surplus pupil places over the next 15 years.

Blaenau Gwent council's first proposed phase, Band A costing £23.5 million and scheduled for 2012 to 2014, includes a £10 million refurbishment and remodelling of Abertillery Comprehensive School.

It also includes £7 million to remodel and address surplus pupil places at Coed-y-Garn, Roseheyworth and Ystruth schools and review the catchment areas for Abertillery, Blaina and Nantyglo.

Band A also includes the £500,000 clearing and removal of asbestos from the former Nantyglo Comprehensive School site, £500,000 to review regional provision of Welsh medium secondary education and transforming the Garnlydan School site into a £2.5 million base for the PROTEUS project, for children with emotional or behavioural difficulties.

Band B, covering 2015 to 2017 and costing £66.5 million, includes potentially closing Tredegar Comprehensive School and a primary school in the area to make way for a new three to 16 school.

It also includes building two new schools in Ebbw Vale, one in Abertillery and enlarging another Abertillery school to 420 pupils.

Band C, costing £17 million and scheduled for 2018 to 2020, includes establishing two 420-place schools to replace the existing primary schools in the area and reviewing religious schools.

Band D, costing £45 million and scheduled for 2021 to 2023, involves reviewing schools in Brynmawr and building a second Welsh medium school on a vacant school site.

Education and leisure scrutiny committee members met on Tuesday to discuss further information on the bid with council officers - after demanding more details at a heated meeting last month.

Blaina councillor Garth Collier said he expected the information to have “more meat on the bone” and for more of the schools involved to be named.

Schools plan goes forward

A £200 MILLION project to transform Monmouthshire’s schools over the next decade will be submitted to the Assembly Government tomorrow.

Monmouthshire’s cabinet met yesterday to approve proposals to turn all four of the county’s secondary schools into community campuses and make improvements to its 32 primary schools.

The outline proposals worth £209 million will now be sent to the Assembly Government’s 21st Century Schools Initiative, which is taking bids from all Welsh local authorities to rebuild and redevelop schools across the country.

If Monmouthshire’s bid is successful, the Assembly Government will provide 70 per cent of the project's funding, while the council will have to find the remaining 30 per cent.

The plans approved yesterday propose rebuilding Caldicot School, Chepstow School, Monmouth Comprehensive and King Henry VIII School in Abergavenny as community campuses.

Caldicot would be redeveloped between 2012 and 2014.

Monmouth would be rebuilt and work started in Chepstow between 2015 and 2017.

The community campus at Abergavenny and the Chepstow site would then be completed between 2018 and 2020.

There would also be improvements to all of the county’s primary schools, a comprehensive new computer system across all schools, and the roll out of the foundation phase in primary education would be completed.

The Assembly Government is expected to make a decision on Monmouthshire’s bid next summer.