New ‘dream’ school pushes forward

20 March 2016

A new head teacher is being recruited after the go-ahead for the first Welsh medium school for Grangetown and Butetown.


The temporary governing body for Ysgol Hamadryad hopes to appoint the new head by the end of April, with a view to taking charge of the first reception class in September – ahead of the new school building opening a year later.

Cardiff Council’s cabinet finally signed off the plans for the primary school to be built on land behind Hamadryad Hospital in Butetown.

The governors have issued a mission statement for the new school, saying they wanted a “happy, ambitious and inclusive learning community which will be an integral part of the surrounding area.”

The governors are Dafydd Trystan – who is Plaid Cymru’s chair – Mair Parry Jones, head of translation at the Assembly, Cllr Ali Ahmed, Dr Dylan Foster Evans and Dr Huw Williams, both of Cardiff University and Iona Edwards of Ysgol Penygarth.

The starter form will begin in temporary classrooms at the Ninian Park school site from this September.

It has been a long process, with many obstacles along the way, not least finding a suitable site.

Although most of the demand for places comes from Grangetown, it was impossible to find an available space and council officials were forced to go back to the drawing board twice after first suggesting Ysgol Pwll Coch in Leckwith be expanded and then controversial proposals to redevelop the Channel View leisure centre site.

The site, next to the park and behind the Victorian hospital building, will cost £2m to buy and is close enough to Grangetown.

Ninian Park Primary will also be expanded to take in more English-medium pupils – and is also conincidentally advertising for a new head teacher after recent struggles. The changes for the area will cost in the region of £14m.

The 420-pupil school just over the river was “attractive in that it would not cause any difficulties in terms of disrupting any existing services” said the council’s report. Parents will be encouraged to use car-sharing, walking, cycling and public transport to reduce traffic congestion.

The Ymgyrch TAG campaign group thanked parents and supporters for helping realise the “dream”.

“Even though things haven’t gone our way every time, we’ve done something special for the Welsh language, which is beyond just ensuring we have a Welsh school for our own children,” said a spokesman.

“We look forward to welcoming the class of 2016 and working towards a school for the entire community.”


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