Source: Wales – City of Cardiff
This week, Cardiff West Community High School has been officially opened by The First Minister for Wales Mark Drakeford and The Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, in the presence of Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry andWelsh Government Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams.
Headteacher Martin Hulland and Chair of Governers, Dewi Jones were joined by staff, governors and pupils of the school, to welcome guests including local politicians and those who played a key part in the school’s construction.
The new £36m school was joint funded by Cardiff Council and Welsh Government, through the city’s £164m, Band A 21st Century Schools..
The eight form-entry school which can accommodate up to 1200 pupils, in over 13,500 square metres of floor space, boasts impressive sports amenities, flexible learning spaces and the very latest science and IT facilities.
Cardiff West Community High School is a ‘pathfinder school’, promoting links forged under the ‘Cardiff Creative Education Partnership’ that has seen some of the biggest names in Cardiff’s creative sector joining forces with the local authority to promote creativity at the heart of learning.
The partnership offers the school’s children and young people exciting work experience placements, helping them to make the most of opportunities in the creative and cultural sector, including film, television, digital design and theatre. It also gives them creative skills that can be applied to other careers and jobs.
The site is split into three separate blocks all within an 8.8 hectare site with new playing fields and a mixed use games area.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “I’ve been watching the development of this new school with great interest. It’s great to see investment in education, not only in my constituency, but throughout Wales.
“Cardiff West Community High School is one of 170 projects that have benefited so far through our 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme, which has seen £1.4 billion invested in our education estate. I’m truly delighted to be here at the official opening today and I look forward to seeing the school grow and flourish over the coming years.”
Cardiff Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas said: “The new home for Cardiff West, is the latest of the innovative and exciting range of schools we have already delivered with Welsh Government, providing children and young people with excellent state-of-the-art educational environments, fit for the 21st Century.
“We are committed to making sure that schools are at the heart of our communities. The new school site not only represents a £36m investment in the education of our children, but is also a significant investment in the local communities of Caerau and Ely, providing superb facilities available for the wider community to enjoy.
“I know that a good education provides the best start in life, and is the surest way out of poverty, so we will continue to strive to ensure all children in Cardiff attend a good or excellent school. Our investment in improving and expanding the city’s schools will continue to gain momentum as we start delivering the next phase of the 21st Century Schools and Education Programme.”
Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: “Cardiff West Community High School has been on a remarkable journey and the official opening is a significant day, not only for the pupils and staff, but also the local community.
“I believe that every child has the right to a good education and a decent school building and the transformation that Cardiff West is already bringing to secondary education in the local area is fantastic.
“With its inventive design, impressive modern facilities and the links it has forged with partners in the creative sector, the school provides young people with outstanding opportunities, paving the way for pupils to go onto have bright successful futures.”
Speaking at the event, Education Minister Kirsty Williams said: “I am delighted to be here today to celebrate this fantastic new school.”
“The 21st Century Schools and Education programme is an outstanding example of what can be achieved when we all pull together towards a shared goal. The programme also forms a key part of our national mission for the whole country to be proud of our education system in Wales.
“I hope that this school will become not just a centre of learning for the pupils, but also serve as a hub that offers state of the art facilities that benefit the wider community.”
Headteacher, Mr Martin Hulland, said: “Having our new permanent home officially opened is an important milestone for Cardiff West Community High School, and I am confident that our pupils will be inspired to learn, work hard and achieve in their new environment.
“During the design and development of the site the views of staff and pupils were considered to ensure we have a school that works for the students and the community and that we can all be proud of.
“I think this has been achieved and together with the positive Estyn report we received earlier in the year, shows we are in good stead to develop, taking Cardiff West Community High School to the next level and making a real difference.”
Cardiff West Community High School is the latest school completed as part of the Band A 21st Century Schools programme, jointly funded by Cardiff Council and Welsh Government. In total £164m has been provided for the programme, with Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government each providing £82m.
Cardiff Council , earmarking, with fifty percent match funding from Welsh Government, a further £284m to build new schools across the city – the biggest single investment in Cardiff Council’s schools.