Posted: Wed 24th Feb 2016

Secondary school plans to go out to consultation /
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 24th, 2016

Formal consultation on plans to overhaul secondary in south and mid Powys have been given the go-ahead, Powys County Council has confirmed. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The council has been reviewing secondary schools across the region to strengthen provision and provide a service capable of delivering full national curriculum with available resources and meeting the challenges of 21st century education. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Yesterday (Tuesday 23 February), the council’s Cabinet received the recommendations of the Schools Organisation Review Panel in respect of four secondary schools in mid/south Powys. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In respect of Brecon and Gwernyfed High Schools the Cabinet agreed to commence formal consultation on: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

• The closure of the two schools and to establish a new English-medium 11-16 school that will operate across the current sites of the two schools from September 2017;
• From the September 2017, post-16 provision (academic and vocational) to be delivered by NPTC Group of Colleges in Brecon;
• From the September 2017, Welsh-medium secondary education to be delivered at the Builth Wells site of the proposed new school (one school over the two sites) in Mid Powys
• To close the school sites at Gwernyfed and Brecon upon the opening of a new build campus in Brecon, in 2019/20. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In relation to Builth Wells and Llandrindod High School, Cabinet agreed to start formal consultation the closure of Builth Wells High School and Llandrindod High School and to establish a new dual-stream 11-18 secondary school that will operate across the current sites of the two schools from September 2017. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Arwel Jones, Cabinet Member for Schools, said: “The proposals we will consult on will create a critical mass of pupils that meets the council’s 600 pupil threshold at key stage three and four needed to meet the School Reorganisation Policy. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The proposal provides an opportunity for learners to have a broader post-16 curriculum and will improve cost-effectiveness and efficiency and reduce overall surplus places. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The proposals will also deliver a broad Welsh-medium curriculum in a central local for mid and south Powys. The move will improve cost-effectiveness and efficiency, eliminate maintenance costs at both schools and remove surplus places. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Decisive action is needed in the region to strengthen our secondary provision, three of the four secondary schools are in special measures and the fourth is subject to Estyn monitoring. We must take action for the sake of our young learners. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We will consult with all stakeholders on these proposals and our consultation arrangements will be publicised shortly.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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