Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) has agreed to submit an £80 million programme of investment in its schools to the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools programme. If the Welsh Government agrees the full match funding, MCC will commit nearly £40 million to a programme that will see a complete reconstruction/remodelling of the county’s four secondary schools, an improvement across our primary schools – with three of them being partly rebuilt with Learning Plazas - and an increase in Welsh medium secondary education provision (in collaboration and partnership with Blaenau Gwent/Torfaen and Newport).
We had previously made a bid for 21st Century Schools Funding. But the Welsh Government has now changed the funding levels and timescales of the project, which is why we have made a new submission. The total value of the proposed programme is £79.5 million, of which MCC would have to contribute £39.75 million under the new 50:50 funding mechanism for 21st Century Schools.
Cllr Liz Hacket Pain, Monmouthshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Children, Young People and Learning said:
“This submission represents a very clear and very substantial commitment on our part to bring our school buildings up to the highest possible standards. But it’s also about improving educational attainment through innovative teaching facilities and addressing the very real challenge of surplus places across our schools.”
Cllr Hacket Pain continued:
“The Welsh government would provide half the money for any projects it approves. So they will have a very real say in the future direction of our schools improvement programme and we’ll work very closely with them to achieve the best outcome, as we did with our successful improvements to our primary schools. Despite any match funding, the money that we’re prepared to invest in the future of our children is substantial. But it’s the right thing to do. We have set out three clear priorities for our limited funding; the economic development of the county, protection of our most vulnerable people and education. This decision underlines our commitment to building on our already successful education service to create 21st century schools to meet the needs and aspirations of our forward looking council and the communities it serves.”