Posted: Mon 14th Mar 2016

Crucial Consultation Of Four Powys Secondary Schools Will Start After The School Easter Holidays

This article is old - Published: Monday, Mar 14th, 2016

The start of crucial consultation on the future of four Powys Secondary schools will start after the school Easter holidays, Powys County Council has announced. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Consultation on the future of Gwernyfed, Brecon, Builth Wells and Llandrindod Wells had been due to start the w/c March 14 but will now begin once the schools return from Easter holidays, in the week commencing April 4th – the actual start and end dates will be announced nearer to the time. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Meetings will be held in April to discuss plans to close Gwernyfed and Brecon secondary schools and create a single a single school, initially operating over two sites from September 2017 before moving to a single new school campus in Brecon in 2019. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Similar proposals are being consulted on for Builth Wells and Llandrindod Wells secondary schools, with moves to close both schools and open a single school across two sites from September 2017. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cabinet Member for Schools, Councillor Arwel jones said; “We are entering a crucial phase in our secondary school plans and are determined to see them through and strengthen secondary provision in the interests of our young learners. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We understand the concern of the communities facing change but change is absolutely essential if we are to provide the best possible learning environment for our youngsters. The current structure is no longer fit for purpose, the fall in pupil numbers, and the resulting pressure on resources mean the status quo is not an option. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“If we do not deliver change we will be failing future young learners, they deserve the best possible chance to achieve their goals. To provide the facilities our youngsters deserve we need to provide a critical mass of learners both at 11-16 and at post-16 to properly resource the service. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We hear a great deal about the planned changes being driven by finance and not educational standards, they are driven by both. You cannot improve standards if you are wasting resources, improvements are only achievable by using resources in the most efficient way possible. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Of the schools under review three are in special measures we don’t have a secondary school in the county regarded as excellent by Estyn, the best we can claim is good – that is not good enough for a county like Powys. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We are determined to provide a schools structure that will allow all of our schools to deliver the highest possible educational standards. Change is never easy, we will listen to the communities but they too have to listen. Change is essential if we are to succeed, to simply say no is to fail future generations of learners,” he added. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Residents will be able to respond to the consultation by using the council’s website, once the consultation starts in April. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Public consultation meeting dates – further information will be shared nearer to the time ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

• 13 April – Builth Wells
• 14 April – Llandrindod Wells
• 19 April – Brecon
• 20 April – Gwernyfed ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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