"It's been a huge highlight and a massive challenge" says Ysgol Calon Cymru's first headteacher who has left the school.

Ionwen Spowage has overseen the amalgamation of the former Builth Wells and Llandrindod High Schools into Powys' newest secondary school which opened in September 2018.

Mrs Spowage says it feels "very strange" to be leaving the school so quickly as she moves closer to her home as the new head of Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, in Llandeilo.

The former Builth Wells High School headteacher said: "I never expected to go. It was something that I would follow through. I've been in Builth for a long, long time and committed myself to the area. An opportunity came up that was too good to miss which may not have come up again."

Mrs Spowage started the role in January 2018 and left on Thursday when the school broke up for Easter.

Reflecting on her time at the helm, she said it's too early to say whether the merger has been a success.

"It's not something that people get to do very often, to start a new school. But with that there are massive challenges despite being seven miles apart. The towns are different and the original schools were different so bringing two different systems, two different groups of staff, parents and pupils was inevitably going to be a huge challenge."

She added: "It's far too early to say whether the merger has made a positive impact. Staff are working hard to ensure that pupils are achieving their potential and the standards that they deserve. But the pupils have taken it in their stride.

"Coming together has lead us to offer more options at Key Stage Four, it gives more choice for learner, I think that's a significant thing.

"Now that you've got this really big school, the results of Ysgol Calon Cymru's sports teams have been phenomenal. That's added another dimension."

Mrs Spowage says her successor will face the challenge of providing the standards students deserve with a dwindling budget.

"I worry about the financial situation for this school, and for others in Powys. Delivering high quality education with falling budgets is going to be very challenging for whoever is coming next. That's going to be a big deal."

Mrs Spowage will start her new role at Ysgol Bro Dinefwr on April 29.