Churchstoke primary school set to be saved from closure after community campaign

A village school on the Powys-Shropshire border under threat of closure now looks set to be saved.

Pupils and teachers have campaigned to save Churchstoke Community Primary School
Pupils and teachers have campaigned to save Churchstoke Community Primary School

Powys County Council had proposed closing Churchstoke Community Primary School as part of its Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys 2020-2030.

But senior councillors have now recommend the small school near Montgomery should stay open ahead of a key meeting next week.

It comes after a campaign by villagers and teachers to keep the school open.

A seven-week consultation was carried out and the findings will be considered by the council's cabinet on November 23.

Councillors will be asked to end the current process in respect of closing the school.

However, concerns remain regarding the school and the council will consider further options ahead of a report being brought back to cabinet in due course.

Councillor Phyl Davies, the cabinet member for education and property, said: “During the consultation exercise it became apparent that a significant number of pupils from the area are travelling to schools in Shropshire, even though Churchstoke C.P. School is their closest school so the school’s roll is not as high as it should be.

“There are also a significant number of housing developments in Churchstoke and the wider area which have the potential to put pressure on school places, as well as a need to improve the condition of the schools’ estate in the area.

“We also received many comments about the potential impact on the Welsh language and culture should parents choose schools in Shropshire instead of a Powys school for their children.”

He said he would recommend not proceeding with the closure.

Montgomeryshire Senedd member Russell George praised the ‘Save Our primary school and pre-school' group for their campaigning, and said that he hopes the recommendation will be accepted.

Rachel Jones of the Save Our primary school and pre-school group said: “I welcome that the council have listened to our calls, and it is now important that the school is now supported to grow. I’d like to thank the people who have supported this campaign.''

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