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18 schools closed in 10 years

Created on 28/07/2016 @ 08:33
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Eighteen local community schools have closed in Powys over the last 10 years, with the number set to increase as cuts and and education review continue.

A response to a written questions submitted to the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Education showed that since 2006 there have been 157 school closures across Wales, 60% of them in rural Wales. Eighteen of those were in Powys.

It has drawn huge criticism from a local Assembly Member who said that the closures were “sucking the lifeblood out of rural Wales”.

Russell George, Assembly Member for Montgomeryshire said: “The disproportionate rate at which schools in rural Wales are being shut down shows that the Welsh Government is failing to protect the interests of communities across Powys.

“Now that we have a new Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams AM, who represents a large part of Powys, I will be looking for this trend to be reversed because I believe no rural school delivering the national curriculum should close, without the agreement of parents and governors.

“Rural schools are at the heart of community life, often providing the only public building for miles around, and the threat of closure still hangs over a number of rural schools across our area.

“I support calls for a rural education policy, which recognises the unique needs of rural schools compared to their urban counterparts.

“It's vital that rural local authorities get a better deal from the Welsh Government in the future and that alternatives to closure, such as schools working together to share staff and resources, are given the chance to work before closure is considered.

“School closures are sucking the lifeblood out of rural Wales; they undermine communities and damage local economies.”


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