Funding allocated for maintaining our school buildings in 2024/25

Written by on 26th March 2024

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet has approved a £6.315m programme of maintenance, general works and repairs to be delivered across the Council’s school estate next year – to ensure school buildings remain safe, watertight and warm. 

The Education and Inclusion Services Capital Programme earmarks funding on an annual basis, to ensure schools are maintained to a suitable condition. Much of the work activity then takes place in the summer holiday. Funding of £6.315m was recently allocated by Full Council for next year, and Cabinet has agreed the 2024/25 programme at their meeting on Wednesday, March 20.

A report to Cabinet on Wednesday detailed a list of maintenance projects for specific schools, which will now be delivered in the financial year starting April 1, 2024. A summary of the key categories and allocations is included below:

£6.315m Education and Inclusion Services Programme, 2024/25

Kitchen refurbishments (£390,000) will take place at St John Baptist Church in Wales High School and Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhondda, while around three quarters of the overall funding will replace inefficient ageing gas appliances with energy efficient alternatives, along with replacing other kitchen appliances, at various schools.

Window and door replacements (£100,000) will be completed at Mountain Ash Comprehensive School, Ton Junior School and Park Primary School.

Essential works (£651,000) are needed at Ty Castan Alternative Education Centre, Maes-y-coed Primary, Alaw Primary, Ton Infants School, Bodringallt Primary, Cwmdâr Primary, Ferndale Community School, Trerobart Primary, Trallwng Infants School, and Trehopcyn Primary. The required activity ranges from external repairs, footway improvements, classroom and corridor refurbishments, remodelling, and the replacement of floorboards.

Toilet refurbishments (£308,000) will be undertaken at five local primary schools – Darranlas Primary (phase one project), Maes-y-coed Primary, Cwmdâr Primary, Oaklands Primary, and Treorchy Primary.

Compliance work (£1.939m) will see three brand new classrooms created at Maesgwyn Special School using £1.45m of the allocated funding. A remodelling and improvement scheme will also take place at Ysgol Ty Coch, while various schools will receive upgraded hygiene/changing areas, as well as classroom adaptions and acoustic improvements for Learning Support Classes.

Boiler upgrades/replacements (£290,000) will be completed at six local schools – Buarth Y Capel, Cwmclydach Primary, Llanhari Primary, Penrhiwceibr Primary, YGG Ynyswen, and Pontygwaith Primary – along with upgrades to the main plantroom at Bryncelynnog Comprehensive.

Roof works (£1.094m) will provide a new roof for Ton Infants School, and roof replacements at Capcoch Primary, Penyrenglyn Primary and Penpych Primary. There are also allocations for six other roof improvements – Cwmlai Primary, Ffynnon Taf Primary, Ton Junior School, St John Baptist Church in Wales High School, St Margaret’s Catholic Primary, and YGG Ynyswen.

Electric rewiring (£115,000) will take place at three schools – Blaengwawr Primary, Darranlas Primary and Llanhari Primary – while a fire alarm upgrade (£45,000) will be completed at Mountain Ash Comprehensive.

Other funding areas include Education and Inclusion Access Condition Surveys, IT hardware/software licences, and activity to support the roll-out of Universal Free School Meals in primary schools. A full list of the funding allocations has been included in Appendices to Wednesday’s Cabinet report.

Councillor Rhys Lewis, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Youth Participation and the Welsh Language, said:

“Each year, the Council allocates funding for a capital programme to ensure our school buildings remain well-maintained, while continuing to provide safe and suitable environments for learners and staff members. The programme represents an important part of our wider School Modernisation Programme, and I’m pleased that more than £6.3m funding is now allocated for 2024/25.

“The majority of the work ranges from upgrading key amenities in our schools such as toilets, kitchens, boilers and fire alarms, while improving corridors, classrooms, and external parts of the buildings. The 2024/25 programme also identifies a larger scheme to build a three-classroom extension at Maesgwyn Special School in Cwmdare – a £1.45m investment that is much-needed to increase capacity in response to growing demand for special school places.

“A key commitment of the maintenance programme is to utilise local supply chains and companies where at all possible, to carry out the works in our schools. This way, the improvements not only help us deliver the Curriculum for Wales and provide excellent learning facilities for our young people, but we can also support community-based businesses in the construction industry.

“The capital maintenance programme also complements the Council’s wider investment in brand new education facilities right across the County Borough, in partnership with Welsh Government. A joint £79.6m investment through the Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme is progressing four major projects across Greater Pontypridd this year, as well as brand new primary school buildings in Ferndale, Pontyclun, Church Village and Llantrisant costing over £71m.

“Following Cabinet’s approval on Wednesday, officers will now prepare the maintenance programme for its delivery. In the majority of cases, the improvements will be carried out in the school holidays to take advantage of the vacated buildings while causing no disruption to pupils’ learning.”

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