Cardiff Council Defends Expansion Plans for Oversubscribed High School

Cardiff Council Defends Expansion Plans for Oversubscribed High School

...By Jack Sylva for TDPel Media.

Cardiff Council has faced criticism over its plans to expand Cathays High School after it was revealed that the school recently received fewer applications than available places.


The report from WalesOnline showed that the school had received 230 applications in March for September 2023, against its 240 available spaces for new students.

Cathays High has been earmarked for expansion, with the new building expected to increase its capacity from 1,072 places to 1,450 places by 2025, and replace its current buildings.

Council defends expansion plans Cardiff Council defended the expansion, saying the school had been oversubscribed in the past and that buildings in poor condition had been prioritised as part of its redevelopment programme for schools across the city.

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The council spokesperson said that the need to replace Cathays High School had been identified as a priority scheme in need of investment, and that expanding provision in Cardiff was not simply about adding places to the most popular schools but about ensuring every school was a good school.

Maindy Velodrome at risk Some residents are opposed to the expansion because it will lead to the loss of Maindy Velodrome.

However, the council spokesperson said that the redevelopment of Cathays High School with new 21st century facilities would enable a greater number of learners to benefit from the specialist autism spectrum condition provision at the school.


The expansion would increase the intake of the school from 165 places to 240 places.

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Land swap still under review Although the plans to expand Cathays High have been approved, the council still needs to wait for a proposed land swap involving Maindy Park to be given the go ahead.

Cardiff Council, which is the sole trustee of the charity which owns Maindy Park, has proposed that land at the park is swapped for land at Caedelyn Park in Rhiwbina.

After an independent committee, the Maindy Park Trust Advisory Committee, was set up to negate the council’s conflict of interest in this matter, a decision was made in January that the council’s cabinet should be recommended to approve the swap, which it did back in March.

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However, the decision still needs to be ratified by the Charity Commission.

Plans for future expansion The council said that the need to rebuild and/or expand other schools would be considered as part of future phases of the 21st Century Schools Programme.

The council is already delivering additional primary and secondary school provision to serve new developments in the north-east and north-west of the city.

It is opening a new primary school this year at Groes-wen, and relocating and expanding St Mellons CiW Primary School at St Edeyrn’s.


A new school site has also been secured for secondary school provision serving these new communities.

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