More details released on plans for new special school in Rhondda Cynon Taf
More details have been released on plans for a new special school in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
A report to the council’s cabinet on Wednesday, June 28, will recommend it starts a consultation on building a new 3-19 special school in the county borough.
The consultation is proposing that the new special school be built on the site of the council headquarters in Clydach Vale, which the council is set to leave.
The consultation will also include catchment areas for the current 3-19 special schools – which are Park Lane Special School, Ysgol Hen Felin and Ysgol Ty Coch.
The report said that children and young people who wish to remain in their existing special school special school following the catchment change can continue to do so.
However, all new placements will be under the revised catchment areas once the changes are put in place, so that children attend their local special school.
The cabinet report highlighted the pressures faced by RCT’s special schools as the number of pupils are increasing each year.
It said children’s needs are becoming more complex and there is a need to meet demand for placements for some of the most vulnerable children living in the area.
It said that since February 2021, the special school population has grown by 94, which it said is a “significant growth.”
The report said that alternatives to expand the existing special school sites have been exhausted and the only feasible alternative is to build a new 3 to 19 special school on a new site. It added that this will significantly grow the special school provision and increase the number of special schools in RCT from four to five.
There are currently 670 pupils at four special schools across RCT which are: Maesgwyn Special School in Cwmdare, Park Lane Special School in Trecynon, Ysgol Hen Felin in Ystrad, Tonypandy and Ysgol Ty Coch in Tonteg with Buarth y Capel in Ynysybwl being a satellite site of Ysgol Ty Coch.
The agreed capital funding to deliver a new special school is £53.4 million, with the Welsh Government funding this project by up to 75%.
The report said that the majority of pupils (75.9%) currently accessing the special schools across RCT use home to school transport.
The new school would have dedicated on-site drop off and pick up facilities making this process safe, less disruptive for the community and manageable for staff, the report added.
There would also be a review of safe routes to school and, if required, an investment in improvements to walkways, road crossings and traffic calming measures to ensure the required safety standards are met.
If agreed by cabinet, a consultation would take place between July 3 and September 14 with reports then coming back to cabinet before a decision is made.
By BBC LDRS
Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales