NOTE: This content is old - Published: Friday, Jan 19th, 2018.
Flintshire County Council is drawing up plans for the next phase of a multi-million-pound investment in the county’s schools.
The council’s current round of schools investment, the Welsh Government’s match-funded 21st Century Schools and Education Programme comes to end in 2019.
The first phase, a five-year plan known as Band A has seen a number of projects in Flintshire completed or in-progress including the £30m Holywell learning campus (pictured above) the new Deeside 6th form centre, Ysgol Tŷ Ffynnon Primary in Shotton and extensive work on Connah’s Quay High School.
The Welsh Government announced in November a further £2.3bn to modernise education infrastructure in Wales, the money will allow the 21st Century Schools Programme – a major, long-term and strategic capital investment programme – to continue for a second wave of investment known as Band B and likely to be phased over a five to six-year period.
Flintshire County Council has proposed nearly £85m of Band B projects, these meet the government investment objectives which include:
- addressing growth in demand for Welsh medium education
- reductions of surplus capacity and inefficiency in the system
- expansion of schools and colleges in areas of increased demand for educational services
- address condition of educational assets
- making assets available for community use where demand exists.
Flintshire’s Band B proposals included in a report to be discussed at a Flintshire County Council Cabinet meeting next week include:
The final phase of the extension, remodel and refurbishment of Connah’s Quay High school which impart has been forced upon the council as a condition set by the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams, that followed her decision to side with the council on the closure of John Summers High School.
Listed as a priority by the council, Queensferry Primary School will be remodelled and refurbished with three Deeside pupil referral units (PRU), Bryn Tirion and the Learning Centre in Shotton relocating to the Queensferry campus and amalgamated with Troi Rownd PRU which is already based at the campus.
The amalgamation would increase capacity by 25 PRU places at the campus, there are currently 50 pupils on the roll of the two Shotton PRU’s.
Buckley and Mynydd Isa.
Three options have been put forward for under the project title ‘Buckley and Mynydd Isa Area Review’
Proposed amalgamation of one secondary school, Argoed and one primary school to create a 3-16 school on the current secondary site. Remodelling of one secondary school, Elfed to increase capacity to 1000 from its current 669 pupils.
Proposed amalgamation of two secondary schools to create one secondary school at Elfed and new primary school to replace current split site arrangement to be situated on the other secondary site at Argoed.
Refurbishment of existing buildings at two secondary schools and invest in Primary provision ( split sites)
A new learning campus similar to the flagship £30 million Holywell campus to be built in Saltney, it will bring together St David’s High School, Saltney Ferry Primary School and Saltney Wood Memorial Primary School, the new campus would be built on opposite the existing high school which is currently home to Saltney community centre and the town’s football team.
Saltney councillor Veronica Gay cautiously welcomed the proposals but raised concerns about infrastructure, she said;
In response to fears Saltney could lose key assets, Flintshire County Council Deputy Leader Cllr Bernie Attridge tweeted:
I would imagine that the community centre will be included within the new school and @Saltneytownfc will have a brand new facility close by as part of the whole scheme.
— bernie attridge (@bernieatto) January 19, 2018
A report to go before cabinet members on January 23 says;
‘The [Band B investment] programme in its current form will inevitably evolve and will possibly require change as the programme and processes are carefully worked through.
The Council’s Strategic Outline Programme (Band B proposals) was submitted to WG at the end of July 2017 in accordance with their timetable.
This is essentially the Council’s ‘statement of intent’ for the Band B investment programme.
Welsh Ministers have recently announced the programme nationally and Welsh Government have written to confirm approval in principle of the Council’s Strategic Outline Programme and funding envelope for the programme subject to the onward business case submission.”
Flintshire County Council has been approached for a comment.