Shropshire Star

Council to consider future of town's schools

A council is set to take decisions over the future of a number of a town's primary schools.

Maesyrhandir Primary School in Newtown. Picture: Google Streetview.

On Tuesday Powys County Council’s Liberal Democrat and Labour Cabinet will receive a report on the preferred option for 'school transformation' in Newtown.

Under the plans Maesyrhandir Primary School is set to continue as a standalone school, after it was deemed not to be a good fit for a merger with other schools.

The preferred option would see Ysgol Calon y Dderwen and the nearby Treowen Primary School merge – from September 2025.

Pupils would continue to attend the Treowen school building until a new school building at Ysgol Calon y Dderwen is finished, when they move over to the new site.

The merger is intended to remedy the school surplus spaces problems in the town.

Pupil number projections indicate that both Treowen and Maesyrhandir will fall below the Welsh Government definition of a small school and will soon have less than 91 pupils.

The council had already proposed a new school building for Ysgol Calon y Dderwen, which was created following the merger of Ladywell Green Infants School and Hafren Junior School in 2021.

In June, the council revealed the intention to look for more funding to construct a bigger school building.

Initially it was floated that the new bigger school would also take pupils from Maesyrhandir and Treowen primary schools and eventually lead to their closures.

The merger of all three schools was one of three other options that education officers looked at and then discounted.

The report to be considered next week says that under the triple merger option building a school big enough for all the children would be difficult due to “constraints around space on the site.”

The site is also in the Park area of Newtown which is set to be shared with a mini-hospital and other buildings as part of the North Powys Wellbeing Programme.

The report states: “Ysgol Calon y Dderwen and Treowen school have a similar pupil profile in terms of additional learning needs and pupils eligible for free school meals, this would enable a positive transition process.”

Ysgol Calon y Dderwen currently has 251 pupils with a capacity of 342, which means it has 26.6 per cent surplus spaces – each pupil is worth £4,401.

The number of pupils receiving free school meals is 36 per cent and 0.4 per cent of children have received a special education needs statement.

Treowen currently has 106 pupils with a capacity for 172, which means it has 38.4 per dent surplus spaces – each pupil is worth £4,528.

The number of pupils receiving free school meals is 42 per cent and no pupils at the school have received a special educational needs statement.

Maesyrhandir currently has 95 pupils with a capacity for 214 – each pupil is worth £5,323.

The number of pupils receiving free school meals is 56 per cent and 1.7 per cent of the children have receive a special educational needs statement.

The report will go to be discussed by members of the Learning and Skills scrutiny committee at their meeting o Tuesday, October 17.

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