Sustainable Communities for Learning – Rolling Programme

Rolling Programme

The Council’s Education Transformation Team delivers the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Communities for Learning (formerly 21st Century Schools and Colleges) and the Education Capital Programme along with the forward planning of implementation of the Rolling Programme March 2024.

For more information on Sustainable Communities for Learning  Rolling Programme please visit: Sustainable Communities for Learning rolling programme [HTML] | GOV.WALES

The programme looks at long-term and strategic capital investments needed to create educational communities which are fit for purpose in a 21st Century Wales and also focuses resources on the right schools in the right places, for children and young people from early years through to post-16.

Educational transformation will remain a vital outcome of Blaenau Gwent’s and Welsh Governments investment in the Programme, recognising that it is hugely important that we address the condition and efficiency of our school and college buildings. Local authorities should consult with all state-funded schools to consider their inclusion in the programme:

  • community schools
  • schools of religious character (both voluntary aided and voluntary controlled)
  • foundation schools

Blaenau Gwent Council have worked closely with Welsh Government to improve our school buildings, under the Band B programme. The Education Transformation team develop business cases to secure funding for Education to deliver new and improved learning environments. As delivery partners are at differing stages through their existing Band B, it is expected that as and when a local authority or college is nearing completion of their Band B programme, typically above 60% of programme value (£) either completed or on-site/under contract, they submit their new strategic outline programme (SOP) which would initiate the start of their rolling programme.

This will encourage a smooth transition of each delivery partner’s programme as and when the need arises, removing the stop-start actions associated with a fixed-term investment programme.

A nine-year capital programme, including an indicative funding forecast for the 9 years, is required to be submitted to the Welsh Government for consideration towards providing a commitment and support for the first 3 years along with in-principle support for years 4, 5 and 6. Years 7 to 9 will reflect your longer-term project pipeline. If appropriate, Band B projects can be included at the beginning of your nine-year capital programme.

Nine-year capital programme

7 Expectation

1,2 and 3 - Projects expected to reach full business case within the 3 years

4,5 and 6 - Projects being developed and going through statutory consultation

7,8 and 9 - Pipeline projects

At the latest, delivery partners must review and resubmit their Programme by March 2024. Delivery partners may submit and join the rolling programme prior to this deadline if nearing completion of their Band B programme. Delivery partners are required to review their rolling programme at least every 3 years, by which time it is expected that years 1, 2 and 3 would comprise those projects that formed years 4, 5 and 6 of the previous revision, subject to those projects remaining a priority for the delivery partner with a further 3 years of pipeline projects added to the nine-year plan. This will focus on a three-year investment plan and draft budgets, alongside the Wales Infrastructure Investment Strategy.

For projects that continue to be classified as ‘Band B’, the current business case appraisal and approval framework will continue to challenge the strategic needs and priorities of delivery partners’ individual business case submissions in the normal manner. The process for new SOPs will also follow this route.

Projects identified for delivery under the SCfL Mutual Investment Model (MIM) delivery framework will continue to be classified as Band B projects.

All submitted business cases must be underpinned by a SOP, which provides an overarching view of individual local authority/further education institution strategies. Individual projects can then be approved subject to receipt of a satisfactory business case.

Current intervention rates would be retained in order to support the deliverability and affordability of delivery partners’ individual programmes as per the table below.

Intervention rates

Category Intervention rate (%)
Community, voluntary controlled and foundation schools 65
Voluntary aided schools of religious character 85
Special schools and pupil referral units (PRUs) 75
Mutual Investment Model (revenue-funded element) 81
Mutual Investment Model (associated capital cost) 65
Further education institutions 65
Extra over-costs of net zero carbon (NZC) (Band B) 100

Programme investment objectives

Transforming learning environments and learner experience

  • Supporting all learners to be healthy, engaged, enterprising and ethical citizens, ready to play a full part in life and work, within places of learning that are safe, inclusive and free from discrimination and bullying.
  • Improving learner experience and well-being in the built environment, supporting the delivery of Curriculum for Wales.
  • Providing first-class digital infrastructure to improve learning environments and teaching methods for students of all ages and for the wider community.
  • Supporting learners with additional learning needs and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Meeting demand for school places

  • Providing efficient and effective educational infrastructure that will meet current and future demand for places.
  • Actively supporting the delivery of the authority’s Welsh in Education Strategic Plan.
  • Providing the right number of places for the delivery of Welsh- and English-medium education.
  • Addressing sufficiency issues where relevant.

Improving condition and suitability of the education estate

  • Reducing backlog maintenance costs for the schools and colleges selected for the programme taking account of the overall estate.
  • Removing category D condition and suitability buildings from the estate.
  • Reducing category C condition and suitability buildings and improving condition to category A or B condition.

Developing sustainable learning environments

  • Working towards whole-life NZC through the programme’s mandated NZC in operation and the embodied carbon targets in line with the Welsh Government’s Carbon Reduction Commitments.
  • Delivering sustainable learning environments that invest in biodiversity to enhance the surrounding environment and support active travel.

Supporting the community

  • Community-focused schools, optimising the use of infrastructure and resources to deliver public services working in collaboration with teachers, staff, governing bodies, learners, families and communities. This will include flexibility of our assets so that space and facilities are available outside school hours for extra-curricular, adult and community learning.
  • Maximising community benefits and social value through the supply chain.
  • Providing greater opportunities for adult learning, allowing community members to learn new skills and develop their confidence.
  • Supporting multi-agency partnerships and offering an integrated approach to support learners and the community, including co-location of services.


Blaenau Gwent Education Transformation team are currently working on the Strategic Outline Programme (SOP) for submission to Welsh Government by March 2024.

How builds are managed

Local Sustainable Communities for Learning delivery is determined by the Council’s Strategic Outline Programme (SOP), in line with achieving key educational objectives including improved standards of Education within Blaenau Gwent. 

For more information please contact the Education Transformation Team via the following email address: 

Blaenau Gwent School Organisation Policy and Educational Standards

The Council remains committed to the provision of high quality education for all children and young people.  Progress to raise educational standards has been made; however, the aim is to continually improve pupil outcomes and wellbeing across the county borough.  It is, therefore, implicit within the Council’s Sustainable Communities for Learning (formerlly 21st Century Schools and Colleges) Strategic Outline Programme (SOP), that a fundamental review of the school estate is required to transform standards of education.

The vision is to improve pupil attainment, achievement and wellbeing through the transformation of schools and learning environments to meet modern 21st Century School expectations. Also, to secure and sustain the delivery of high quality education for all pupils across the age range from 3 to 16, which is underpinned by two objectives:

  • to be the best performing Local Authority within the family of Local Authorities (Caerphilly, RCT, Merthyr Tydfil and Neath Port Talbot) by 2017/2018; and,
  • to exceed the Welsh average for all key indicators by 2018.

The Blaenau Gwent School Organisation Policy provides strategic direction for ongoing transformation and review of the school estate within Blaenau Gwent. For more details visit :

Contact Information

Name of Team: Education Transformation Team

Telephone Number: 01495 355470 /355132

Address: Education Directorate, Floor 8, Anvil Court, Church Street, Abertillery, NP13 1DB

Email Address: