An official opening ceremony has been held to celebrate the new £9.5million Williamstown Primary School at Penrhiwfer Community Campus.
Minister for Education and Skills, Leighton Andrews AM, joined Cllr Eudine Hanagan, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning in opening the impressive new development. They were joined by Owen Smith MP, Chris Bryant MP, Mick Antoniw AM as well as Cllrs Ken Privett and Dennis Weeks who were all at the ceremony.
The community primary school for Williamstown at Penrhiwfer is the latest in a series of multi-million-pound investments to ensure younger generations receive the education they deserve in modern, sustainable and inspiring buildings. Made possible thanks to investment from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and the Welsh Government, the new school will also bring benefits for the wider community.
The facility boasts 12 classrooms, a learning support resource, hall, community room, IT facilities, library soft play and even an outdoors environmental studies area. It will also bring community facilities including a new football field, multi-use games area and changing rooms. The scheme also includes a new access road from the south end of the site and on-site parking.
At the official opening Headteacher Andrew Manley introduced the guests to a group of children who performed a selection of their favourite songs which was followed by the official unveiling of a commemorative plaque by Cllr Hanagan and Leighton Andrews.
Cllr Eudine Hanagan, said: “We are so pleased to celebrate the opening of a school that continues to go from strength to strength. The new Williamstown Primary School is an excellent environment for pupils to thrive and with the additional community facilities available here, Penrhiwfer Community Campus is a truly fantastic community asset.
“I must also commend the talented pupils who have provided the entertainment today. They really are outstanding and deserve such excellent, inspiring school facilities in which they can learn and grow.
“Today’s official opening shows we are delivering investment in modern school buildings that meets the needs of many generations to come – especially those in areas that are experiencing increased demand for places as the population grows.
“The Council is committed to working with school governors and head teachers to deliver the best provision for children by building new and refurbishing existing buildings, and providing classroom teachers with the resources they need.
“Delivering the best possible education of our children is crucial to a strong future for Rhondda Cynon Taf and we will continue to do all we can to improve and invest in our schools."
Investing millions of pounds into improved school facilities and tackling the issues of attendance, literary and numeracy throughout the County Borough are key Council priorities.Rhondda Cynon Taf is introducing the biggest widespread changes to the education service ever undertaken in the history of the local authority
.A massive £160million investment scheme is taking place, including £50m for a new, inspirational secondary school in Aberdare, £12million for two new schools at Ynysboeth and Cwmbach, a £11million school at Abercynon and £3.3million for a Welsh medium primary school in Llanharry where the demand from residents is greatest.
This incredible programme is taking place alongside the £6million investment in new and improved facilities elsewhere, from modern kitchens, toilets, classrooms, improved access and many other refurbishment schemes.
The Council is addressing individual aspects of teaching too – by raising literacy and numeracy standards while also ensuring top attendances throughout every school.The systematic and rigorous implementation over the coming years will greatly improve standards right across Rhondda Cynon Taf. Such bold proposals will involve not only schools, teachers, pupils and parents, but entire communities and partner agencies in a widespread and exciting project, which is pioneering and inspiring in its approach.