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Llangedwyn Church in Wales primary school closure confirmed

Llangedwyn Church in Wales primary school (Pic: Elgan Hearn, LDRS)

LLANGEDWYN Church in Wales primary school in the north of Powys will close at the end of August.

Only seven pupils are taught at the school and this figure is due to fall in September to five, as two children leave to go to secondary school.

At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, February 27, senior councillors received a report on the objections lodged against the closure.

The objection report is the final stage in the decision making process of closing the school and people were given the opportunity of having their say on the proposal from January 10 to February 7.

This follows the cabinet’s decision just before last Christmas to close the school.

The report said that a total of 16 objections had been received against the closure.

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School’s transformation manager Marianne Evans said: “Officers have addressed those objections – there were quite a few around how the governing body had managed the process.”

Objections made on this point said that the school had been “badly managed” as part of the Dwy Afon (Two Rivers) federation which saw Llangedwyn run in tandem with Llanfechain Church in Wales primary school.

The objectors said that parents had been advised from June last year to move their children from Llangedwyn.

As a response to this point the council said that it was: “not involved win any discussions between governors and parents which took place in June 2023.”

Ms Evans advised councillors to go ahead and close Llangedwyn with children to transfer to Llanfechain Church in Wales School from September 1, 2024.

Ms Evans said: “This will address the low pupil number at Llangedwyn and the council’s overall surplus capacity in primary schools.”

The report adds that the council would saving of around £125,000 when transport costs are also included.

Conservative group leader Cllr Aled Davies is the local county councillor for Llangedwyn.

Cllr Davies said: “This has been inevitable,

“I know there have been questions raised by the process. but I’m assured that the current governors and staff have done everything possible to support the children and dealt with difficult issues in the correct manner.”

He added that it was down to “parental choice” where the parents of Llangedwyn pupils send their children and if they don’t want to go to Llanfechain they “don’t have to.”

Cabinet member for a connected Powys, Liberal Democrat Cllr Jake Berriman said: “It’s always very difficult when a school in a rural community closes.

“Being described as an inevitable process does not mean it’s any less devastating.”

He added that he was “concerned” that the council had found itself dealing with a school with only seven pupils in it.

Cllr Berriman believed that the council need to look again at what the “trigger point” is for the primary school closure process and move the figure up from 10.

Cllr Jake Berriman (Pic: Powys County Council)

Education portfolio holder Liberal Democrat Cllr Pete Roberts explained that Welsh Government’s school organisation code sets the figure at 10.

Cllr Roberts believed this issue will be brought up for discussion in April at meeting between the government education minister and council education chiefs from all across Wales.

Council leader, Liberal Democrat Cllr James Gibson-Watt: “This school has served its community for over 200 years.

“Whatever the circumstances that’s a fine and honourable history it’s a solemn decision.

Cabinet members voted unanimously to close the school which will happen on August 31.

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