Posted: Tue 8th Mar 2016

Secondary consultation next month

This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 8th, 2016

Consultation on the future of four Powys schools will get underway next month as plans to strengthen the county’s secondary provision move into a critical phase. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A series of 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, before moving to a single new campus in Brecon. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The first phase of both proposals would see the establishment of single schools operating over multi-sites by 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 and one subject to Estyn monitoring, 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. Changes 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 can respond to the consultation by using the council’s website www.powys.gov.uk/haveyoursay from w/c March 14. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Meeting dates: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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



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