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Council to close small Powys primary school

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A statutory notice proposing the closure of a small south Powys primary school will be published later this month (November), the county council has said.

Powys County Council is looking to reconfigure and rationalise the primary school provision in the county as part of its Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys 2020-2030 and is proposing to close Llanbedr Church in Wales School on 31 August 2022.

During April and June 2021, the council carried out a seven-week consultation on the proposal.

Yesterday (Tuesday, November 9), the Cabinet gave the go-ahead for a statutory notice to be published formally proposing the closure after receiving and considering the consultation report.

The council will publish the statutory notice shortly and there will be a 28-day ‘Objection Period’ for those who object to the proposal to send their objections to the council, and a further report, summarising any objections received, will be considered by Cabinet to conclude the process.

Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Property, said: “We would like to thank all those who took part in the consultation exercise for this proposal.

“After carefully considering all the consultation responses, Cabinet has agreed to continue with the proposal by publishing the statutory notice formally proposing the closure of Llanbedr Church in Wales School.

“We are committed to transforming the learner experience and entitlement for our learners and we will achieve this by delivering our Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys 2020-2030.

“Our strategy is ambitious, exciting and we believe it will give our learners the best possible start they deserve. However, as we start to implement it, we will be faced with significant decisions as we look to address some of the challenges facing education in Powys which include the high proportion of small schools in the county, decreasing pupil numbers and the high number of surplus places.

“The decision to continue with this proposal has not been reached lightly. Not only has it been robustly challenged by senior leaders within the council at every step, but it has been developed with the best interest of the learners, who have been at the forefront of our discussions and decision-making.

“If this school is to close, then the learners would be attending schools that would be better equipped to meet the requirements of the new national curriculum and that could provide a wider range of educational and extra-curricular opportunities.”