EDUCATION in Machynlleth ground to a halt on Wednesday, as teachers took strike action again at Ysgol Bro Hyddgen.

Staff, who are members of the NASUWT teaching union, were back on the picket line after their first strike two weeks ago

Over the last five years 14 posts have been lost and in this current round four teachers are facing redundancy.

Further compulsory redundancies are expected later this year.

Neil Butler, of the NASUWT, said: "The the community of Machynlleth will be rightly concerned that a further day of strike action has closed Ysgol Bro Hyddgen and that further industrial action is being planned.

"Unfortunately the failure of the governing body to support the school and to continue with compulsory redundancies has made the action necessary.

"In January 2014 Powys County Council promised Ysgol Bro Hyddgen 'protected funding on pupil numbers for three years'.

"This funding never materialised and the failure of PCC to honour this commitment and of a weak governing body that should have ensured that the commitment was honoured has led to year after year of job losses and now compulsory redundancies.

"We are asking governors to join the protest against this broken promise and not to act as the axe wielding instrument of Powys County Council."

Powys County Council says that the funding is down to pupil numbers and if they fall, then so does the funding.

Gareth Jones, Interim Head of Schools Service, said: “Powys County Council has worked closely with the headteacher and the governing body since the establishment of the new school and provided an element of transitional funding to support the establishment of the new school.

“As with all schools across Wales the majority of funding provided to the school is based on the number of learners being educated.

"Both primary and secondary numbers at the school have reduced since 2014/15, with a consequent reduction in delegated funding.

“The council is fully aware of the budget pressures facing all schools across the authority and has started a fundamental review of it Fair Funding Formula for Schools, with an expectation that the outcomes of the review will be implemented, potentially on a graduated basis from the start of the 2019-20 financial year."

Mr Jones added that the authority would continue to work closely with the school to reduce the number of compulsory redundancies.

Chairman of the school governors, Huw Morgan, has sympathy for the teachers and said that the job losses are the price of austerity policies.

Mr Morgan said: "I completely sympathise with the teachers taking action, I understand the strain they're under.

"We have no choice the school has to go through this process as we're facing big budget deficits and the last thing we want to do is cut staff.

"We have been doing our best in the face of budget cuts, but we've reached the end, there is no more slack."