An education vision for the County
Powys County Council's Cabinet has started plans to reorganise education in Powys. Their proposals involve new school builds, with the closure of several small schools.
The plans include the proposal for a new all-age dual stream school for Llanfair Caereinion and the building of a new facility for the all-age Ysgol Llanfyllin. The new facility at Llanfyllin could also include pupils from the Llangedwyn, Llanfechain and Llansilin areas.
A new 360-place area primary school could also be built to replace Carreghofa County Primary School and Llandysilio Church in Wales Primary School, and possibly other schools in the Welshpool catchment area.
Plans could also see an extension to Llansanffraid Primary School and a new Welsh-medium primary school in Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant is also proposed.
The ultimate decisions on these proposals are predominantly for Powys County Council and Powys County Councillors to take but I have asked to be updated on proposals and have attended remote meetings regarding the proposed plans.
Powys County Council will be carrying out public consultations on each of its proposals as their plans progress. I have made the point that consultations must be genuine and as consultations may take place during the Covid-19 pandemic, Powys must ensure that all residents’ views are listened to before decisions are made, including those residents who may not be able to engage through electronic/remote meetings.
It is important that Powys County Council takes the time to listen to all parents and schools which may be impacted by these proposals. They must listen to the concerns raised by residents in order to ensure their proposals address the needs of all learners, including those pupils who thrive in small school settings.
This year, I have had virtual meetings with parents from schools that have been proposed for closure and I have spoken with many residents via my virtual advice surgeries. There have been a number of fair points of concern raised with me about some of the schools proposed for closure, and I believe it is important that Powys County Council's decision makers listen and act on concerns raised.
I will be actively encouraging as many people to engage with the consultations and I will be responding to the Local Authority myself based on views that have been presented to me.