A very small south Powys primary school will close later this year after being given the go-ahead by Cabinet, 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 from 31 August 2022.
Last year, Cabinet gave the go-ahead for a statutory notice to be published formally proposing the change, which was published in November. During the statutory notice period, nearly 350 objections were received.
This week (Tuesday, March 8) Cabinet received and considered the objection report and approved the proposal to close Llanbedr Church in Wales School from 31 August 2022, with pupils to attend their nearest alternative school.
The council’s Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys outlines the concern that the county has a high proportion of small schools and, for those, the budget share per pupil is generally higher than the Powys average for primary schools.
With Cabinet approving the recommendation to close Llanbedr Church in Wales School, pupils will transfer to other schools in the area. This would mean that the education they receive would be more closely aligned with the standard model of delivering education in the area and would contribute to ensuring more equity across the education system in Powys.
Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Property, said: “After carefully considering the objections, Cabinet has approved the proposal to close 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.
“This decision 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.”