THE long awaited review which will lead to a re-organisation of sixth forms in Powys has been criticised for lacking details

Learning and skills committee chairman, Cllr Peter Roberts, (Liberal Democrat – Llandrindod Wells South) came before the cabinet with 15 recommendations that the committee had made after discussing the issue back in July.

The cabinet is supposed to take note of recommendations from scrutiny meetings before making their decisions.

Cllr Roberts said: “Our scrutiny report is much longer than previous ones given the importance of the topic.

“To say we were disappointed when we received this report would be an understatement. We were promised a radical document that would excite us and give us meat to get our teeth into.”

He lamented that this had not been the case.

Cllr Roberts said that he and other members of scrutiny met education service officers and had outlined a timeline for the whole process which would see it completed before the next PCC elections in May 2022.

“This would not have made it into a political football,” said Cllr Roberts.

He also pointed out that moves to have a Welsh Medium High School built in Newtown would impact the review and that there were factors in the reorganisation that would affect schools’ pre-16 years education.

Cllr Roberts believed this would be an opportunity to review all secondary school education and not just sixth forms.

Cllr Roberts added: “This paper sets out the pros and cons of reorganisation but no concrete proposals at all.

“It’s rare for us to take an absolute view on a document but there is so much additional work to be done in response to our recommendations, that we cannot in all honesty recommend this report to cabinet.”

Senior education manager, Marianne Evans, responded: “This is now stage one that sets the case for change and we need to take people with us.

“The next stage, stage two, will be engagement and it’s essential we do this with young people and drill down to find out why they are making the choices they do, we already have a lengthy engagement exercise arranged with schools.

“That work starts now.

“The next piece of work will be a business paper back in early spring next year with details of the engagement exercise plus a detailed business case about the options for restructuring sixth form.”