21st Century Schools Proposal
Centre for Vulnerable Learners (Pupil Referral Unit)

Status: Consultation Closed.

Awaiting Planning Approval


Caerphilly County Borough Council has embarked upon an exciting but challenging journey of improvement and change.

Schools in Wales need to be in good condition and suitable for the delivery of education.  In some cases, schools can be modernised, repaired, refurbished, extended, or partially rebuilt to meet the standards needed for contemporary teaching and learning. However, some existing schools are no longer in the right place and in such cases we might propose new schools or changes to existing schools.


We are proposing to:

  • Create a Pupil Referral Unit for vulnerable pupils on the former Pontllanfraith Comprehensive site (NP12 2DA) with an anticipated completion date of September 2023.
  • The proposed centre of excellence will support vulnerable learners from across Caerphilly at Key Stage 3/4, sitting at the center of the Council’s Education Other Than At School (EOTAS) Strategy and the Cwmpawd hub and spoke model
  • The new facility will accommodate between 80 - 120 pupils and be equipped with high quality learning opportunities, indoor and outdoor sporting provision as well as access to first class support and will enable community use of the facilities outside of school hours

We aspire to continue to raise school standards and improve the quality of the learning environment to create fit-for-purpose 21st century schools and give every child in Caerphilly the best possible start in life.


Through TeamCaerphilly - Better Together, the Council is committed to ensuring high quality, citizen focused services for the communities that comprise our county borough.  In future-proofing public services, we recognise the need to ensure effective engagement which is central to our decision making.

The School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 requires that the Welsh Ministers issue a School Organisation Code. The Code imposes requirements in accordance with which relevant bodies including local authorities must act when bringing forward proposals in respect of maintained schools as defined at Section 98 of the 2013 Act. That is a school in Wales, which is a community, foundation or voluntary school, a community special school or a maintained nursery school.

Unlike other 21st Century Schools proposals which have been undertaken to date, this legislation does not apply to pupil referral units and as such the consultation process prescribed by the School Organisation Code 2018 does not apply in this instance.

However, for the purposes of progressing this proposal and to enable transparent, balanced and open decision making, a consultation process is being undertaken to reflect the principles of the Council’s Consultation and Engagement Framework 2020-2025.  Utilising the “Spectrum of Engagement” approach, an appropriate level of engagement in informing and consulting stakeholders will be undertaken, mirroring the equivalent processes outlined in Section 3 of the School Organisation Code 2018 only.

Consultation period

Opened: Wednesday 20th October 2021
Closed: Midnight Wednesday 1st December 2021

Any negative responses made during the consultation period will not be counted as objections to the proposal but as adverse comments.

Consultation documents

Ways you gave your views

  • Completing the online response form on the Council's website
  • Complete a printed response form and return it via post to the 21st Century School Team at Caerphilly
  • Email your comments to the 21st Century Schools Team at Caerphilly
  • Pupil Engagement Sessions at EOTAS settings

Community Engagement Report

All responses received during the consultation period will be recorded and summarised in a Community Engagement Report.  The Report will be presented for initial review and endorsement at Education Scrutiny Committee, with final approval to proceed to the next stage sitting with Cabinet.

Cabinet members will be provided with copies of all the responses received within the consultation period and in their original format as part of the decision making process.

Youtube Recordings:
Education Scrutiny Committee 2nd November 2021  (in capacity as a consultee group)

Education Scrutiny Committee 10th January 2022 
Cabinet 26th January 2022 

Final determination

Motion Carried
Notice of the Cabinet decision from the meeting held on Wednesday 26th January 2022

Planning Application

A separate Planning Application Process will be undertaken in respect of this proposal. 


21st Century Schools Team
Directorate of Education and Corporate Services
Caerphilly County Borough Council
Penallta House
Tredomen Park,
Ystrad Mynach
CF82 7PG

Email: 21stCenturySchools@caerphilly.gov.uk

Website: 21st Century Schools