A SPECIAL meeting of senior councillors will be held to make a decision on plans to expand a Welsh medium school in Torfaen.
Councillors were due to decide earlier today whether to go ahead with a £6 million project to extend the age range at
, at a cabinet meeting.
But Torfaen council said the issue has been deferred until next week “when further information will be available.”
The Welsh Government-funded scheme would see nursery and primary education provided at the school – in Trevethin, Pontypool – which currently caters for pupils 11-18-years-old.
It would become the first school for pupils aged three-18 in the county borough
A report which was due to be discussed by cabinet revealed that one objection was lodged against the proposal during a statutory 28-day period.
The objector voiced concern the scheme could increase traffic and exacerbate parking issues around the school.
But council bosses say the proposal will reduce the need to travel as it will result in pupils living closer to a Welsh medium school.
“At the moment, because there is no Welsh Medium provision in the area proposed, there are currently 63 primary aged pupils bussed out of the area to Ysgol Panteg and 18 to Ysgol Bryn Onnen,” a council report says.
“It is expected that over time this will reduce as children attend the new local provision, and at the same time remove the need for school transport/car travel.”
Pupils currently attend Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw from across the wider Gwent area, and this will remain the same if the proposal goes ahead.
The extra provision would open in September 2021 as a seedling school, initially with a nursery and reception class only and then growing each year.
An on-site nursery established for 30 full time equivalent three and four-year-olds would also be established.
Welsh medium primary school catchment areas would need to be amended to reflect the additional proposed provision.
The Welsh Government has committed to growing the number of Welsh speakers to one million by 2050.
Funding of £30million has been allocated to support projects dedicated to increasing the use of the Welsh language in education.
Torfaen’s £6million proposal was approved by Welsh Government last year, on condition the council successfully completes statutory consultations.
A special cabinet meeting has been arranged to decide the issue next Tuesday June 18.
Council officers have recommended the plans are approved.
“It is for members to determine the proposal, but officers are of the view that the case in favour of the proposal still outweighs any case against,” a report says.