South West Wales

Plans to close 'special measures' school in Swansea

A 600-pupil secondary school in Swansea placed in special measures may close under a council shake-up.

Daniel James Community School was said to have poor standards in English, maths and science.

The council also plans to close sixth forms at Gowerton and Bishop Gore, merge Manselton and Cwmbrwla primary schools and sell surplus school land.

It said it must make better use of resources, but opponents said they would fight the plans.

The proposals will be discussed by the council cabinet on Thursday and are expected to be submitted to the Welsh Assembly Government in December as part of Swansea's bid for funding support.

Mike Day, the cabinet member for education, said it would improve the standard of education throughout the city.

"It'll help cut the number of wasteful surplus places that divert much-needed finances from pupils and teachers on the front-line," he said.

The council plans to build a new-build primary school on a single site to replace Manselton and Cwmbrwla schools.

It said it would look to fund the cost of new-build schools through the sale of surplus school land.

There will be more places to meet the demand for Welsh-medium primary schools in the city.

Mr Day said ministers had made it clear that in an economic climate where money was tight, councils must offer a compelling vision about how grant funding would benefit future generations of pupils.

He said the assembly government was expecting a council update in December, "which is why I'm asking cabinet to endorse this latest phase of our vision now".

"It should mean we are ideally placed to make a compelling case to access funding in a financial climate that will present challenges for [the assembly government] and local government in Wales over the coming years."

Governors at Daniel James said the new management team installed earlier this year had not been given a chance to improve the school.

Robert Francis-Davies, who is also a Labour councillor, told the South Wales Evening Post: "Since we went into special measures, we've had people in saying how well the school's been doing and the staff have responded brilliantly."

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