Closure of Llandrindod and Builth Wells high schools confirmed

By Twm Owen in Local People

THE closure of two Powys high schools has been confirmed with a Welsh language stream at Brecon also set to be axed.

Powys council’s ruling cabinet met on Tuesday to take a number of decisions on secondary schools - including how to deal with a projected deficit of more than £1 million at Brecon High School.

The independent-controlled council will now press ahead with a decision, taken in September last year, to close both Builth and Llandrindod high schools and open one new school in September 2018 that will operate on the two existing sites.

At the meeting cabinet member for schools Arwel Jones also confirmed he is to also recommend the closure of the Welsh medium stream at Brecon High School.

The fate of the Welsh medium stream will be debated at the full council meeting on Tuesday, March 7. But the decision on whether to accept or reject Cllr Jones’ recommendation to close the Brecon stream and for pupils to transfer to the high school in Builth Wells will be taken by the cabinet on March 14.

During the cabinet meeting it was confirmed more than 1,700 written objections to the closure of Builth and Llandrindod were submitted but not one representation in support of the recommendation was received by the council.

However the cabinet voted in favour of closing both schools.

The council was also warned the projected deficit at Brecon High School is the "tip of the iceberg" with other secondaries, including Ysgol Maesydderwen in Ystradgynlais, Llanfyllin and Llanidloes high schools, also heading for significant deficits.

Brecon High has been told to come up with a recovery plan and produce a balanced budget while cabinet members have instructed officers to review plans and timetables for secondary school reviews throughout Powys and bring a report to the cabinet by the end of the autumn term. The council’s school funding formula could also be reviewed.

For more on this story see The Brecon & Radnor Express on sale from Wednesday, March1

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