The Council has provided a progress report on the construction of Tonyrefail Community School’s secondary element, after the Children and Young People scrutiny committee visited a number of its 21st Century Schools.
During 2018/19, £85m is being invested in education across Rhondda and Tonyrefail through #RCTinvest and Welsh Government. New ‘all through’ schools formed in Porth, Tonyrefail and Tonypandy in September, while 21st Century Schools facilities were also introduced at YGG Llwyncelyn and YGG Tonyrefail, while Ferndale Community School underwent major refurbishment. This followed new facilities for Treorchy Comprehensive, delivered in 2017/18.
The scrutiny committee has recently visited a number of the new schools, including Porth Community School and the new £7.2m Cwmaman Primary School on Tuesday, December 11. Members then visited Ysgol Nantgwyn in Tonypandy and Tonyrefail Community School on Thursday, December 13.
The tours were given by the Senior Leadership at each school, and Committee Members were joined by the Council’s Director of Education.
The new education provision in Tonyrefail is part of a wider £44m Education and Leisure investment. The 3-19 Tonyrefail Community School formed in September 2018, when a brand new 21st Century Schools primary building opened to pupils and staff, who are now enjoying their fantastic new learning environment and excellent facilities.
Meanwhile, the school’s existing Grade-II Listed Victorian building is being sympathetically remodelled, while modern glass walkways will link it to a second brand new building for the school – for secondary pupils. The Council has previously announced that this project will be completed in spring 2019.
The upper school construction works have progressed over the last three months, and the heating system is up and running. The new secondary element of the school is on schedule, and it will be followed by the demolition of the current secondary school building during the summer holiday in 2019. This space will be used to provide additional parking to serve the school.
Councillor Shelley Rees-Owen, Chair of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee, said: “I was very pleased that Committee Members took the opportunity to visit four of the Council’s newest schools, which have been enjoyed by staff and pupils since they opened in September. They are impressive buildings fitted with first-class facilities, intended to give our young people the very best opportunities throughout their education. The Committee intends to carry out work in the next year to reflect on how the schools which have benefitted from 21st Century funding are progressing.
“Members of the Committee will continue to work with Officers to scrutinise the progress the Council is making in delivering its set objectives, as well as its plans for the future.”
Councillor Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, added: “The joint £85m investment by this Council and Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Education Programme has transformed the everyday learning experiences of pupils. Brand new schools with the very best facilities opened in Tonypandy, Tonyrefail and Porth in September, along with a £7.2m investment to deliver Cwmaman Primary School in the Cynon Valley.
“The ongoing construction of Tonyrefail Community School’s secondary element is visibly progressing, and the impressive and ambitious restoration of the Listed building, along with the brand new 21st Century secondary building, is on schedule for completion. It will leave a legacy for generations to come.
“The Council is also currently consulting on proposals for a further £168m of Band B investment in the Upper Cynon Valley and the wider Pontypridd area, so we can reach even more communities with our 21st Century Schools facilities. I would urge residents to have their say on the ongoing consultation, which will include several public events during January 2019.”