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Council review ‘will end in school closures’

By Karen Compton | Mid Wales | Education | Published:

A review of primary schools currently being carried out by a council will end with some closures, the authority has confirmed.

However, no details of which schools will shut were revealed at a meeting of Powys County Council’s learning and skills scrutiny committee.

The Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys 2020-30 was approved in April 14 and, since then, a Schools Transformation Programme Board has been set up.

Change will be made in three stages, with the first up to 2022, the second to 2025 and the third to 2030.

Work stream one deals with primary and all age schools.

Councillor Lucy Roberts, speaking during Monday’s cabinet meeting, asked: “Will you be reviewing all primary schools in wave one or is that going to be in parts of the county at a time?”

School transformation manager, Marianne Evans, told the committee: “We will be reviewing the smallest schools and we’re working through all of them below a certain number.”

But the number of pupils each school would require to avoid closure was not revealed, as Ms Evans pointed out that there were now extra obstacles in place before a closure could take place.

She said: “In the Welsh Government school organisation code there is a section titled, “presumption against the closure of rural schools”, which is a further step we are required to take when considering small and rural schools.

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“We have to present a report showing we have considered all options and explain why we have decided not to go with them.”

Under the plans, all 11 secondary schools under the council’s control would become all age schools, teaching children from the age of four to 18.

Ms Evans added: “We’re in initial discussion with a number of schools. I can’t name them as we have to go through the proper channels.”

Karen Compton

By Karen Compton
Chief Reporter

Reporter on the Mid Wales Journal.

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