North West Wales

£12m education plan to ease Bangor schools overcrowding

School exam room

An education review will be carried out in Gwynedd to secure primary school places and ease overcrowding.

One Bangor school is oversubscribed by 100 pupils, while new housing in the area could make the problem even worse.

A £12m new schools plan could be half-funded by the Welsh Government, but the money must be spent by March 2019.

The council's cabinet voted for the review on Tuesday after a report warned work on new schools must start "immediately".

"The education department is of the opinion that there is a need to start discussions on the future of primary education provision in Bangor without delay," the report said.

Without action, officers warned there "could lead to a crisis in some of the schools within the catchment".

'Sardines'

Ysgol y Garnedd, in Penrhosgarnedd, has a capacity for 210 pupils but it currently accommodates 316, while Ysgol y Faenol is also oversubscribed, with a capacity of 186 pupils but 206 on its roll.

Both schools are the closest to the new Goetre Uchaf housing development, where 245 new homes are being built, which will bring an estimated 90 further primary school pupils to the area.

Another planning application to build 366 houses in the area is under appeal and could see demand for an extra 150 primary pupil places.

Ysgol y Garnedd governor, Elin Wyn Walker said pupils at the school were currently packed in to classes "like sardines".

"I'm delighted that education in Bangor is going to be addressed, at last," she said.

A review panel will be established to examine options before a business plan is drawn up and submitted in late spring.

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