School Reorganisation Update
Dear Parent / Carer,
There has been a lot of information to communicate to you in the last few months with all the issues related to Covid-19 dominating the way our school has been able to operate. Prior to the impact coronavirus has had on our school, a great deal of our time was spent on all the changes linked to the LA plans to reorganise schools in the Pontypridd area. The main proposals as part of this planned reorganisation for Pontypridd High included:
- The closure of our School as a 11-18 school on August 31st, 2022
- The re-opening of our school from September 1st, 2022 as a 3-16 school
- As a 3-16 school we would have lost our Post-16, Sixth Form provision
- As a 3-16 school, Cilfynydd Primary School would have been closed and re-located on the Pontypridd High site.
You may recall that in response to these plans there were different objections and these were communicated to the LA as part of the consultation process, in particular that relating to the removal of sixth form provision at our school and the alternative options for post-16 education proposed. On a wider level, the impact of these proposals on Cilfynydd PS, and neighbouring schools such as Hawthorn High, Cardinal Newman and Coedpenmaen PS were also represented as appropriate to those in each school.
In response to the proposals, a group of local parents /carers and members of the Pontypridd community have been pursuing a ‘judicial review’ of the Local Authority plans. This has been a long process whereby an appointed judge has been reviewing all of the information and the extent to which the consultation process undertaken by the LA was fair and correct. Last week on Thursday July 30th, the judge reported a final decision that in their opinion the whole plan for school reorganisation in the Pontypridd area should not continue as it had been planned to do so. There were a number of reasons given but without question this was a very significant decision which clearly has implications for many schools, not just Pontypridd High. In saying that it also has a huge impact on many students, their families and staff alike linked to all of these schools.
I am sure the LA will have an opportunity to review this decision and as yet they have not made a public response, but on the basis of what the judge has confirmed it is important to state that Pontypridd High will continue to operate as an 11-18 school, with a Sixth Form for the forseeable future. Depending on any appeal it seems inevitable that any new plans for schools in the Pontypridd area will take time to present and they will need to be linked to the right level of funding which will involve a partnership with the Welsh Government. Without question we want to see investment in our school and as such it will be interesting to see the thoughts of the LA and how they intend to invest in our school as part of the national 21st Century school programme.
I understand that once the plans, in particular, those for moving Sixth Form provision away from Pontypridd High were presented some students may have considered other options. Obviously, given the nature of the initial proposals presented by the LA we are very pleased that a school-based sixth form is being retained and that our successful Sixth Form provision now remains in Pontypridd High. I look forward to welcoming back many students into our Sixth Form from September and all Year 12 should return to school from Wednesday, September 3rd.
I trust you will find time to enjoy the weeks ahead and hopefully the present situation related to the coronavirus will improve so that we can have as normal a return to school as possible in September.