News & Insights

We've delivered four 21st Century schools through SEWSCAP


Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure, has handed over four schools in Wales that it has delivered through the South and Mid Wales Collaborative Construction Framework (SEWSCAP).

Howardian School and Glan Morfa School were both delivered for Cardiff Council. Cwmaman Primary School and Tonyrefail’s ‘super school’ were both delivered for Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council.

Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure was selected by both councils to build the schools, which have been delivered under the auspices of the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools programme.

Jointly funded by Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government, the £5.7 million Howardian Primary School is a 2,500 sq ft two-story primary built to a tight footprint on a highly populated residential estate – replacing the existing primary school.

Constructed using a mix of brick, metal and rainscreen cladding, the school – which can accommodate up to 420 pupils – includes external multi-use games area (MUGA) pitches, has state of the art mechanical and electrical systems (M&E) and its own building management system (BMS). Built to be extremely energy efficient, the school is aiming for a BREEAM rating of excellent.

The other school for Cardiff Council, Ysgol Glan Morfa, in the Splott area of the city, is a £6.2 million scheme; again jointly funded by the local authority and Welsh Government and developed within a tight city centre environment.

Clad in brickwork, render and composite cladding and designed to be sympathetic to its semi-residential, semi-industrial location, the school was developed on the brownfield site of the former East Morrs Steelworks, next to the existing primary school.

Because of the location, works included extensive capping of soft landscaped areas in order to make the external playing fields suitable for school use. The new school also includes a dedicated 5-a-side pitch and a tarmac/3G MUGA with fencing and integrated goal areas.

The new development has enabled the school to double in size and benefit from new and up to date facilities and technology.

In addition, because the community room and school hall can be easily segregated from the teaching areas inside the building, there is also the potential for the school to be used by the community outside of school hours.

Of the schools developed for Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council the £7.2 million Cwmaman Primary School was a significant undertaking, requiring extensive additional works, including the diversion of a major water way, and a special flood alleviation scheme.

This was funded jointly by the Council’s #RCTinvest programme and Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Education Programme.

With complex ground conditions at play – including its location adjacent to a disused mine and the school being on a flood plain – the scheme required an 18-month design phase.

Mitigating measures included a piled foundation being installed in two locations and an existing 2.4m diameter culvert under the site being removed in an extensive pumping and excavation operation, and then relocated along the back edge of the school site and reconnected to the natural flow.

In order to stabilise the site and manage the challenges presented by the presence of the adjacent coal mine, all three mine shafts were capped with 1,130 tonnes of grout. The school was also carefully designed in order to keep it well away from potential settlement areas.

Due to the fact that the scheme is also on a flood plain, extensive flood alleviation design and management formed a major part of the full design and planning approval process.

The wider development of Cwmaman Primary School, which will be completed for the start of the 2018/19 academic year, has been designed and constructed around Morgan Sindall’s standard model school concept for South Wales.

It includes a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA), staff car park, on-site pupil drop-off area, grass sports pitches, external pupil spaces and a dedicated room which will be available for community use.

The final project, a flagship £44m school in Tonyrefail, has involved the creation of a modern ‘all through’ school for pupils aged three to 18, including a 360-pupil primary school with nursery class, in addition to a 1,190-place secondary school and sixth form. This is also being funded jointly by the Council’s #RCTinvest programme and Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Education Programme.

As part of the scheme, Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure is creating two new buildings and refurbishing the site’s live Grade II-listed teaching building. The main contractor is working closely with both the council and Cadw – the Welsh Government’s historic environment service – to ensure that alterations to the listed building are sympathetic and in keeping with its heritage.

The single-storey primary school phase is now complete, while work on the secondary school is expected to conclude in 2019.

Discussing the four completions, Rob Williams, Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure area director in Wales, said: “Each of these schools presented their own challenges – whether that was working to tight city centre footprints, or on challenging brownfield ex-mining sites.

“But in each scheme we have succeeded in successfully navigating these challenges in order to create exciting and sophisticated environments, fit for 21st century education, that will serve the needs of staff and pupils for many years to come.

“We have now completed 11 schools in Wales under the auspices of SEWSCAP, all of which have been delivered on-budget, on-time and carefully designed to meet individual requirements, while still benefitting from the efficiencies brought about by initiatives such as our ‘MySchool’ programmes, and extensive lessons learnt from each project delivered.”

  • For more information about this news release please contact Jonathan Daly or Steve Sanders at Influential on 0161 935 8474 or email