Powys County Council's Cabinet has given the go ahead to start 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.
Investment could also see an extension to Llansanffraid Primary School and a new Welsh-medium primary school in Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant is also proposed, by merging Ysgol Pennant and Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant primary schools.
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 has 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. I will be actively encouraging as many residents as possible to engage with the consultations and also to make sure that their local County Councillors are aware of their views too.