The Advisory Board developing proposals to transform secondary schools in Barry met for the fifth time on 24 May.
Members of the Board who include the Headteachers and Chairs of Governors of Barry Comprehensive School, Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School and Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg as well as representatives of primary schools and further and higher education, received feedback from meetings with governors from the three schools about the emerging plans. They discussed the anxieties that had been raised by some staff governors about the uncertainties associated with change.
The Board were clear that the ambition to transform educational outcomes needs the very best staff to remain working in local schools. They were keen to reassure teachers and other employees that there would be attractive jobs at the expanded and transformed schools. Whilst change was never easy, success in the future depended on great staff. There would continue to be clear communication about future plans for investment in the future over the next few weeks.
The Board then considered four options for the catchment areas that would form part of the admission arrangements for the two proposed English-medium schools and agreed a preferred option.
The Board was clear that all schools need to provide an excellent education for all their learners including more able and talented pupils as well as those with additional learning needs. Particular attention is being given to developing excellent support for learners with emotional and behavioural needs across the Vale from a team to be based at the new school on the Barry Comprehensive site.
Members also considered a further report about transition arrangements for the English-medium schools. They agreed an outline programme that would make continuity of learning for students. It would mean that most students in years 7 – 10 will be studying in mixed sex classes from September 2018. Students in year 11 would continue in their current classes until after their GCSE examinations in 2019.
On 6 June the Council’s Cabinet is expected to consider the proposal to carry out formal consultation to expand Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg. If that is agreed consultation involving children and young people, parents and staff would get underway in late June.
Proposals to start consultation about the transformed English medium schools are likely to be considered on 4 July. Consultation could then start in September.
The Council is grateful to all Members of the Advisory Board for their assistance in creating ambitious and exciting plans to transform education in Barry.