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Village schools to close under £170m plans

Created on 22/09/2020 @ 13:58
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Powys County Council (PCC) has revealed that it could close Llangedwyn, Llanfechain and Llansilin primary schools as well as several schools in the Welshpool catchment area under major new plans released this afternoon.

The £170 million transformation will also see a new all-age school for Llanfair Caereinion and a major new facility built to service the newly opened all-age Ysgol Llanfyllin.

That new facility at Llanfyllin, which follows the merger of Llanfyllin High School and Llanfyllin Primary School, would also include pupils from the Llangedwyn, Llanfechain and Llansilin areas, whose schools would close.

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

It is also proposed to open a new Welsh-medium primary school in Llanrhaeadr-y-Mochnant by merging Ysgol Pennant and Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant primary schools. The school would be situated on the current site of Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant but would need capital investment to accommodate all pupils.

PCC Cabinet will be asked to give the go-ahead to start consultation on the amalgamation of Llanfair Caereinion County Primary School and Caereinion High School and opening a new all-age school.  The new school would provide dual-stream education for pupils aged 4-18 on the current site of the two schools.

The target date is to close the two schools on August 31, 2022 and to open the new school on the following day.

The council says today’s announcement follows extensive engagement last winter with key stakeholders including headteachers, school staff, governors, parents and learners.

They say that they are committed to deliver an improved learner offer for children and young people by delivering its Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys, which was approved in April.

The believe that it will “transform education in Powys, providing learners with the world-class facilities they deserve” and the Cabinet will discuss the proposals next week.

The Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools Programme would pick up 65% of the bill with the council funding the remaining 35%.

Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Property, said: “Providing high-quality teaching and learning environments is one of the aims of our Vision 2025 and our Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys will help us meet these aims.

“These are exciting times and these plans ensure that we provide the best facilities for our learners, their families and the wider community.

“The last five months has been an extremely difficult period for the council as it responds to the Covid-19 pandemic but it is a testament to everyone involved in our transforming education programme that Cabinet will be considering some of these initial plans at the end of the month.”

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