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Caerphilly Education Politics South Wales

Community grant awarded for school play equipment in Caerphilly

Machen Primary School - CEF (pic: CCBC)

A COMMUNITY grant has paid for a school’s new play equipment, with the aim of encouraging children to play outside more.

According to Caerphilly County Borough Council, teachers at Machen Primary School have noticed a “considerable difference” in those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) since the wooden train and climbing frame was installed.

Nearly £5,000 was spent on the play equipment, which was funded through the council’s community empowerment fund (CEF) – this is spent on initiatives that boost the local community.

School governor Claire Kulisa applied for the community empowerment grant, with Machen and Rudry councillor Amanda McConnell as her sponsor.

Ms Kulisa said: “I applied on the basis that we have many children with additional learning needs in our school, with around ten children with social communication difficulties or autism spectrum disorders.

“I wanted to help these children have a better environment to play in and improve their social skills and ability to join in games.”

Ms Kulisa said the school’s next project is to “enhance” the junior school side of the playground.

The CEF was hit with cuts in this year’s budget, with 30% of it’s funding being slashed. Originally, the council proposed to scrap it all together, but backtracked following opposition to this proposal.