MAESYRHANDIR primary school is set to continue as a standalone school in Newtown, after it was deemed not a good fit to merge with other schools.
On Tuesday, October 24, Powys County Council’s Liberal Democrat/Labour Cabinet will receive a report on the preferred option for school transformation in Newtown.
The preferred option is that Ysgol Calon y Dderwen and nearby Treowen primary school merge from September 2025.
Pupils would continue to attend Treowen school building until a new school building at Ysgol Calon y Dderwen is finished, and they can move over.
The merger is supposed to remedy the school surplus spaces problems in Newtown.
Pupil number projections indicate that both Treowen and Maesyrhandir will fall below the Welsh Government definition of a small school and have less than 91 pupils soon.
The council had already proposed a new school building for Ysgol Calon y Dderwen which was created following the merger of Ladywell Green Infants School and Hafren Junior School in 2021.
In June, the council revealed their intention of looking for more funding to construct a bigger school building.
Initially it was floated that this new bigger school would also take pupils from Maesyrhandir and Treowen primary schools and eventually lead to their closures.
The merger of all three schools was one of three other options that education officers looked at and then discounted.
On the triple merger option the report said that building a school big enough for all the children would be difficult due to: “constraints around space on the site.”
There would be “room to extend” if there is a future surge in pupil numbers.
The site in also in the Park area of Newtown which is set to be shared with a mini-hospital and other buildings as part of the North Powys Wellbeing Programme.
The report said: “Ysgol Calon y Dderwen and Treowen school have a similar pupil profile in terms of additional learning needs and pupils eligible for free school meals this would enable a positive transition process.”
Ysgol Calon y Dderwen currently has 251 pupils of a capacity of 342 which means it has 26.6 per cent surplus spaces – each pupil is worth £4,401.
The number of pupils receiving free school meals is 36 per cent and 0.4 per cent of children there have received a special education needs statement.
This statement is a legal document which sets out a child’s educational needs and how the council will meet those needs in an educational setting.
Treowen currently has 106 pupils of a capacity for 172, which means it has 38.4 per dent surplus spaces – each pupil is worth £4,528.
The number of pupils receiving free school meals is 42 per cent and no pupils there have received a special educational needs statement.
Maesyrhandir currently has 95 pupils of a capacity for 214 – each pupil is worth £5,323.
The number of pupils receiving free school meals is 56 per cent and 1.7 per cent of the children have receive a special educational needs statement.
The report will go to be discussed by members of the Learning and Skills scrutiny committee at their meeting o Tuesday, October 17 and their comments will be included in the subsequent report that goes to Cabinet.