Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Hanbury Road, Pontypool, NP4 6YB
Contact: Rachel Beale Senior Business Support Officer (Democratic Services)
Attendance / Presenoldeb
Executive Members (with Portfolios):
Anthony Hunt - Leader
Richard Clark – Deputy Leader
David Daniels – Executive Member for Adult Services & Housing
Alan Jones – Executive Member for Corporate Governance & Performance
Mandy Owen – Executive Member for Children, Families and Communities
Kelly Preston – Executive Member for Resources
David Yeowell – Executive Member for Education
Nigel Aurelius – Assistant Chief Executive (Resources)
Justine Cass – Deputy Monitoring Officer and Solicitor
Delyth Harries – Monitoring Officer and Assistant Chief Legal Officer
Dermot McChrystal – Chief Officer, Education
Keith Rutherford – Chief Officer, Social Care and Housing
Geraint Thomas – Senior Business Support Officer (Democratic Services)
John Tushingham – Head of Access & Engagement
Alison Ward – Chief Executive
In the Public Gallery:
One member of the public
Apologies for absence / Ymddiheuriadau am absenoldeb
2.1 Apologies were received from Councillor Fiona Cross.
Declarations of Interest / Datganiadau o fudd
3.1 Councillor Richard Clark declared a personal interest in agenda item 4 as he was a member of Croesyceiliog and Llanyrafon Community Council, who had been consulted on the proposal.
3.2 Councillor Anthony Hunt declared a personal interest in agenda item 4 as he was a Local Authority appointed governor of Ysgol Panteg.
3.3 Councillor Alan Jones declared a personal interest in agenda item 4 as he was a member of Blaenavon Town Council, who had been consulted on the proposal.
considered the outcome of the statutory objection period/process
(i) To extend the age range of Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw from 11-18 to 3-18 with effect from 1 September 2021.
(ii) That as part of the above to establish a nursery for 30 (Full time Equivalent) 3 and 4 year olds.
(iii) To amend the Welsh Medium Primary School Catchment areas within Torfaen (i.e. Ysgol Bryn Onnen, Ysgol Gymraeg Cwmbran and Ysgol Panteg) to reflect the additional proposed provision at Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw.
REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the report.
CONSULTATION: As set out in the report.
Councillor Richard Clark declared a personal interest as a member of Croesyceiliog and Llanyrafon Community Council, who had been consulted on the proposal.
Councillor Anthony Hunt declared a personal interest as a Local Authority appointed governor at Ysgol Panteg.
Councillor Alan Jones declared a personal interest as a member of Blaenavon Town Council, who had been consulted on the proposal.
4.1 Councillor Yeowell, the Executive Member for Education outlined the key points of report commenting on the following:
· The proposed age range of 3-18 would cover nursery, primary and secondary education.
· Only one objection had been received, which showed how uncontroversial the proposal had been. The objection was made up of three parts and was addressed as follows:
o The potential for amplified traffic at the start and end of the school day could be exacerbated by the existence of a nearby school within the St Cadoc’s area. He confirmed that Councillor Sue Malson, the St Cadoc’s and Penygarn ward member, shared these concerns and a site meeting was due to take place on 24 June 2019 in order to consider this issue. He added that traffic issues were an important part of the planning application process and would receive the appropriate attention.
o Safe walkways to the School would be considered by officers, and in the event that safe walkways cannot be found, it was the Council’s responsibility to provide appropriate free transport.
o Assurances would be given to parents, particularly those of the youngest pupils, that the vast age range would not disadvantage anyone. He added that the proposal provided a timely reminder that education in Torfaen was moving in new directions and challenges could be overcome and the new system would pay dividends.
4.2 The Head of Access & Engagement added the following:
· The traffic assessment would be a key feature of the planning application attached to the proposal. He suggested that staggered opening and closing times could be considered by the School in order to mitigate the traffic concerns, as could traffic calming measures.
· Since the agenda was published, he had been contacted by a representative of the National Association of Schoolmasters of Women Teachers (NASUWT). The representative had advised that he had not received details of the proposal because they went to an email address no longer in use, but that he wanted Cabinet to know his Union’s position which was that it would not accept any compulsory teacher redundancies resulting from the proposal. He reminded members that the proposal was about adding provision not ceasing it, and therefore he had no concerns in terms of NASUWT’s position.
· The next steps were outlined in paragraph 7.1 of the report.
4.3 Following questions from the Leader, the Head of Access & Engagement provided the following responses:
· The £6 million proposal was fully funded by Welsh Government and would have no negative impact on the 21st Century Schools programme or on English-medium schools. The Leader added that the Council wanted what was best for all learners, irrelevant of their first language.
· Transition was often put forward as a positive reason for having an age range of 3-18 at one school; and Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw would be in the unique position of arranging transition on-site and off-site, due to their other feeder primary schools. He suggested that older pupils could lead by example, which would have a positive influence ... view the full minutes text for item 4.