The Advisory Board developing proposals for the future of secondary schools in Barry met for the third time on 22 March.
The members of the Advisory Board, who include representatives of Barry Comprehensive, Bryn Hafren Comprehensive and Ysgol Bro Morgannwg as well as representatives of primary schools, further education and higher education, considered feedback from recent workshops involving pupils and staff about their ideas for the future development of the three schools. The benefits of co-educational (mixed) education, the importance of better buildings, the value of community involvement and the need to preserve aspects of the schools’ heritage were all emphasised.
The Advisory Board reviewed the main points from the first replies to a survey of parents. The first 125 responses highlighted the importance of having mixed sex English medium schooling, of raising standards at Barry and Bryn Hafren schools, of the use of IT in the classroom and the need for improved facilities.
The Board also considered options for the future of the three schools. They agreed in principle that the preferred option was to:
- Expand Ysgol Bro Morgannwg on its current site with a new, second entrance provided from Port Road
- Build a brand new 11-18 co-educational school on the site of Barry Comprehensive School
- Create a modern, 11-18 co-educational school by refurbishing and modernising the Bryn Hafren buildings
- To ensure meaningful collaboration with Cardiff and the Vale College and Cardiff Metropolitan University to deliver high quality post 16 education with a range and choice of vocational studies at the College and a joint sixth form providing academic courses at the schools.
The next stage will be to continue with the workshop and survey work and to further discuss and engage with the three governing bodies and the trade unions.
The Advisory Board will meet again in April to consider the further feedback from the workshops, survey and meetings. They will also discuss an indicative timetable and transition arrangements for implementing the preferred option.
The recommendations of the Board will then be presented to the Council’s Cabinet in June. At that time Cabinet would consider whether or not to go ahead with further, formal consultation.
The discussions at the meeting of the Board on 22nd March represented a significant step forward to transforming secondary education in Barry.