Scott Bartlett: community manager

People might have friends from all across town because they’re part of this one school.

23rd May 2018

Scott’s job is to get as many people as possible using Ysgol Bae Baglan’s facilities after 5 o’clock and at the weekends.

He tells us more about his role, and how the school has affected the local area.

Scott, as community manager, how do you go about marketing these facilities?

About a year before the school opened, Mike Tate was meeting people and collecting contacts.

When I started he gave me a load of information for potential users so I reviewed everything, put the jigsaw puzzle together and worked out how we could best get everyone involved.

We didn’t need to do much advertising. It’s a brand new facility, people already knew about it and you’ve got 1,500 pupils attending who could spread the word anyway.

What is the purpose of this?

At the end of the day, you’ve got a new school that’s had a lot of investment. If you didn’t open it up to the public, these facilities wouldn’t be used to their full potential. Our prices aren’t too high because it’s not a money making project – it’s all about getting the community to use it.

We are open to little local clubs, but we also work with various governing bodies, and the Welsh netball and basketball teams. It’s not just this community, it has reached far wider than we expected.

With all these different people using the school, who do you feel owns it?

The community. When you look at it from the point of view of a community school, all the people that live in the area come to this school and also their brothers, sisters or parents can use it as well in the evenings. They see it as theirs.

How have you seen the community change?

Because they brought three schools together, they brought three communities together. I would say the Ysgol Bae Baglan community covers the whole area now.

It proves that bringing everyone together is possible, kids from all different areas are socialising and making friends.

When I went to school, we never had these facilities and I loved sports. If I came to a school like this, I’d be so chuffed. I get a sense that the pupils who go here are proud of what they’ve got.

How would you describe your role?

What I take pride in is making as many people as possible feel a part of the facilities here. When I meet with them, we have a friendly conversation and people contact me directly on my mobile phone. That is what the community here is all about – contact and individual engagement.

Has sport had an impact on the community?

Yes, definitely. They are exposed to lots of different clubs, and it’s helped them socialise and get fitter.

The art department here also run pottery classes and fairs, off their own back. I don’t have any involvement in that. The performing arts department also put on three to four productions a year. They bring the older generation in which is great, so we’ve now got most of the community using the school to their benefit.

What do you think the benefit is of bringing this community together?

It’s all about getting people to like each other more. Before, you’d have areas of the town, but having a community hub like this brings people together. People might now have friends from all across town because they’re a part of this one school.