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Second Powys high school in trouble over buses

Mid Wales | News | Published:

A second Mid Wales high school will be investigated after it was found to be using buses to bring out-of-catchment pupils to its classrooms – against regulations.

Powys County Council said it is holding an inquiry into why Llanidloes High School used part of its school budget to subsidise transport costs for students living in the Newtown area.

A similar investigation into the practice at Llanfyllin High School led to governors being suspended.

Powys County Council was meeting today to decide what action to take against Llanidloes High School.

Council officers are recommending that appropriate action is undertaken to establish the state of the knowledge of school staff and governors and, if appropriate, council officers.

A report to the meeting says that the school has been providing transport in the form of one bus a day from Newtown bus station for the past 10 years.

Four years ago, 65 schoolchildren used the service but the number had dropped to 31 this year.

Parents have been contributing £100 a term for the transport with the school paying the remainder of the cost, estimated at £352.

Since the matter was looked into the school has re-procured transport, the report says.

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"Llanidloes High School's breach of regulation is of a smaller scale than that which occurred at Llanfyllin High School but there is a requirement to act consistently where a breach has occurred," it says.

County councillors are being asked to pass through a recommendation which says that the school will have to comply with regulations by 2017, as well as hold monthly meetings with council officers.

Earlier this year, three governors from Llanfyllin High School were suspended for three months with another governor suspended for a month.

Powys County Council said the school should not have offered subsidised transport to 149 pupils for whom Llanfyllin is not their nearest secondary school.

It is allowing the arrangement at Llanfyllin to continue for the next two years although at an increased charge, £120 a term rather than the £80 a term parents currently pay.

That will jump to more than £200 a term in two years' time.

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