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Home / Latest News / From closure threat to £150k makeover: South Wales school’s remarkable reversal of fortune

From closure threat to £150k makeover: South Wales school’s remarkable reversal of fortune

A South Wales school which was threatened with closure earlier this year is now set to be boosted by £150,000 of extra improvement funding.

Oakfield Primary School, on the Gibbonsdown estate, Barry, was one of three in the Vale of Glamorgan which faced closure as part of a planned school reorganisation programme.

But the closure recommendations were rejected by council leaders following a public outcry.

Oakfield was placed in a “special measures” category in June 2011, following a critical report by Estyn inspectors who classed it as “unsatisfactory.”

In a remarkable reversal of fortunes since its closure threat, Vale councillors are now looking to pump an extra £150,000 into the school to improve buildings.

It would be part of a £574,882 funding package targeted at nine schools in the Vale were vital building improvements have been identified.

A decision on the funding package will be taken by the council’s cabinet on June 17.

Under the proposals, Oakfield Primary would gain a new entrance and reception area to improve access and security.

Chris Elmore, the council’s cabinet member for children’s services said: “In making this funding available to Oakfield Primary, the council will reaffirm its commitment to the continued improvement and longevity of the school.

“Our priority is not only to ensure our children and young people receive the highest possible standard of education, but also that their school buildings are up to scratch.”

Council leaders have also ordered the setting up of a working group to continue to support the school.

Inspectors have carried out regular checks at the school since the summer of 2011. They say that while significant improvements have been made, more needs to be done before it can be taken out of special measures.

In their most recent report, inspectors said the need to raise literacy standards at the school had been partly addressed with all pupils making steady progress in improving their reading skills.

They said systems and structures for planning lessons were firmly in place and progress had been made on providing “effective and consistent leadership at all levels”.

If the funding package is approved, new boilers would be installed at High Street Primary, Barry, and at Gwenfo Primary, Wenvoe, while £100,000 would be allocated to Romilly Primary, Barry,  for refurbishment of toilet facilities and to eradicate dry rot from the site.

Peterston-super-Ely Primary, Ysgol Pen y Garth and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive, Barry, would each benefit from a total of £72,000 fire precaution works.

A further £10,000 would be spent on overboard ceilings for Ysgol Iolo Morganwg, Barry.

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