LESS than a year since Ysgol Calon Cymru opened, it is facing a financial and leadership crisis.

In September, 2018, Builth Wells High School and Llandrindod High School joined together to become Ysgol Calon Cymru.

The schools became campuses under one headteacher and one governing body.

The closing defict balances of the schools of  £1.374 million was written off.

But already just two and a half terms into it’s existence Ysgol Calon Cymru is projected to be £443,599 in the red.

This figure is projected to rise to £1.259 million in the 2020/21 financial year and projected to be over £2.3 million by 2021/2022.

Following the departure of headteacher Ionwen Spowage at Easter, it has been revealed that both campuses have their own acting headteacher.

Questions were asked to Powys County Council’s (PCC) cabinet on how things got so bad so quickly at the newly formed school.

Learning and Skills vice chair, Angela Davies, said:  “Scrutiny is particularly concerned about the financial position of, Ysgol Calon Cymru.

“Again we question why a new school was created which was not financially viable within the first two years of operation.

“It’s necessary to understand how this happened? What is being done to resolve the matter?

“And what lessons can be learned to avoid it happening again?”

Learning and Skills chair, Cllr Peter Roberts (Liberal Democrat – Llandrindod South) added:  “This is a new school and it has been created and developed with significant support from the finance team but is still now with a significant deficit.”

Head of education, Dr Alec Clark said: “You would expect that there would be some teething issues with a new school.

“It was a new model to try and do, but the deficit is very early in the life of the school.

“However they are not on their own, being a secondary school that’s struggling with deficits.

“We do have an issue with leadership in Ysgol Calon Cymru in terms of recruiting a substantive headteacher.

“So we are working with two internal secondments to more senior posts, currently two deputy headteachers on both sites are acting headteachers.

“We will endeavour to run a more active recruitment campaign, in terms of actively seeking candidates and getting the candidates to have informal discussions.

“We will endeavour to support the governing body with that as there is financial costs.”

Education portfolio holder, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander (Independent – Banwy) said that she had more answers to the issues at Ysgol Calon Cymru, but was not willing to discuss them in a public forum.

Estyn, the education inspectorate for Wales is currently visiting PCC’s education department.