Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council is proposing an exciting and innovative approach to delivering education in the upper Afan Valley - one of the most disadvantaged communities in Wales. It is an area of considerable economic, health and social difficulties, with over 30% of the children entitled to free school meals. The challenge for Council and the schools is to deliver education in an efficient and sustainable manner, in order to secure the long-term future of 3 -16 years education in the valley. To do this in a climate of falling rolls and stringent economic pressures requires a bold and imaginative approach to meeting the aspirations of young learners and to ensuring their life opportunities are enhanced and enriched.The initiative, which will develop and evolve over time, involves a secondary school and its four partner primary schools working closely together to share resources and expertise, and implement a common curriculum strategy that will provide continuity of learning across the primary and secondary phases of education.The impending retirement of the head teachers of two of the valley schools - Cymer Afan Comprehensive and Pen Afan Primary - presents an opportunity to begin implementing this new approach now. The governing bodies of these schools have agreed to join forces and appoint one head teacher to manage both schools. This will be an important first step towards a wider federation of the upper Afan Valley schools. The other schools in this proposed arrangement - Glyncorrwg Primary, Croeserw Primary and Cymer Afan Primary – will, for the time being, retain their head teachers but will be working closely with Cymer Afan Comprehensive and Pen Afan Primary schools to develop a strong working partnership with common goals. Although dispersed amongst geographically isolated villages that comprise the upper Afan Valley, the relative close proximity of the schools and the central location of the secondary school facilitates the development of a federated structure for the delivery of teaching and learning tailored to meet the particular needs of the valley’s young learners and which will be unique to the area. The Welsh Assembly Government has this month made available legislation which enables up to five schools to enter into a formal federation. This will provide the legal framework to underpin the proposed arrangements for the upper Afan Valley schools.
Pen Afan Primary School
Neath Port Talbot
Phase: Primary Schools
No. of Pupils: 69
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