CARDIFF Council’s plans to deliver a series of proposals to expand and improve provision for children and young people with Additional Learning Needs (ALN) are progressing.

In one of the most comprehensive programmes of improvements to the sector in Cardiff, the Council has proposed creating additional places for pupils aged between 3 and 19 across the city.

A public consultation took place earlier this year with the views submitted universally in support of the city’s significant plans to help meet increasing demand for provision for children across the whole range of additional needs, including those on the autism spectrum. They involve more than a dozen special, primary and secondary schools, offering both English and Welsh-medium education.

Following he Cabinet’s decisions made in March, 11 Public Statutory Notices were published on 6 May 2022, in accordance with section 48 of The School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013. They include;

Establishing a 20 place Specialist Resource Base for primary aged children with Complex Learning Needs at Moorland Primary School from September 2023;

Establishing a 30 place Specialist Resource Base for learners with complex learning needs at Willows High School from September 2023;

Increasing the designated number at the Llanishen High School Specialist Resource Base for learners with Autism Spectrum Condition from 20 to 45 places from September 2022;

Establishing a 30 place Specialist Resource Base at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf alongside the existing 30 place Specialist Resource Base for learners with Autism Spectrum Condition from September 2023;

Increasing the designated number of Ty Gwyn Special School from 198 to 240 from September 2022;

Increasing the designated number of The Hollies Special School from 90 to 119 from September 2022; further increase the designated number of The Hollies Special School from 119 to 150 from September 2023;

Increasing the designated number at the Specialist Resource Base at Llanishen Fach Primary School for learners with complex learning needs from 20 to 30 places from September 2023;

Increasing the designated number at the Specialist Resource Base at Pentrebane Primary School for learners with Autism Spectrum Condition from 20 to 24 spaces from September 2022;

Increasing the capacity of The Court Special School from 42 to 72 places.  The school would transfer to new build accommodation across two sites at Fairwater Primary School and the current St Mellons, CiW Primary School site in Llanrumney with 36 pupils on each site from September 2025;

Establishing a 20-place Specialist Resource Base for emotional health and wellbeing at Cardiff West Community High School from September 2022; and

Establishing a 20-place Specialist Resource Base for emotional health and wellbeing at Eastern High from September 2023.

Statutory Notices in respect of proposed expansion of specialist provision at Meadowbank Special School, Marlborough Primary School and Springwood Primary School will be published in June 2022.

A Cardiff Council spokesperson said:

“These plans will go a long way to address the shortfall in additional learning needs provision required here in Cardiff and will also help to spread the facilities right across the city in what is our most radical transformation of the provision seen in recent years. It will dramatically improve the standard of facilities and increase the number of places available by almost 300.”

“Cardiff, like many areas, has seen an increase in demand in specialised education. This Council – which is bidding to become Wales’ first UNICEF Child Friendly City – believes in the rights of children and believes in giving them the very best opportunities in life. We hope this strategy will go some way to helping children in Cardiff reach their full potential.”

Prior to implementation of the proposals a further report will be provided to Cabinet providing details of any objections received.

By Gwynoro Jones

Former MP for Carmarthenshire, Gwynoro Jones joined the team covering politics in Wales. He has a wealth of experience in politics and has been a regular commentator on radio, TV and in newspapers in Wales. Email: gwynorojones@walesnewsonline.com

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