Will the Cabinet Secretary confirm whether 21st Century School money can be used to facilitate the closure of either a primary or secondary school in Wales?
The School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 (“the 2013 Act”) sets out the legislative framework for school reorganisation. The 2013 Act required Welsh Ministers to publish a school organisation code (“the Code”). The Code imposes requirements on those bringing forward and determining proposals to reorganise schools. It also provides guidance and sets out general principles that should be taken into account.
School reorganisation procedures stand separate from the process for securing support from the 21st Century Schools and Education Programme for a school rebuilding or refurbishment.
Any offer of support from the 21st Century Schools and Education Programme is made without prejudice to any decisions that Welsh Ministers might be under a duty to make in connection with any statutory proposals for school organisation, or decisions on other approvals that might be necessary in order for the programme or project to proceed.
Where statutory proposals for school organisation are necessary and have not been completed, any offer of funding is conditional on the successful completion of such statutory procedures as are required.