Plans to shake-up education in Powys, with some schools and sixth forms facing closure, have received the support of opposition groups on the county council.

On Tuesday, council leader Rosemarie Harris is expected to give the green light to the Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys, which will radically overhaul schools in the county over the next decade.

And while the Labour group on the council has called for the decision to be delayed to allow it to face full scrutiny from the cabinet after the coronavirus lockdown, other oppositions groups have offered their support.

Liberal Democrat and Green group leader, Cllr James Gibson-Watt, from Glasbury,  said: “We broadly welcome the commitment to reform the education system  and the pace at which this is being developed.

“We also welcome the extensive consultation that has gone on with schools, school governing bodies and teaching professionals.

“There are however some aspects about which we remain concerned.”

He said that the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP) needed to be complete before school reforms are made.

And he said the financial deficits that many secondary schools face should not be wiped out when they are rebranded as all-age schools.

Plaid Cymru group leader, Cllr Elwyn Vaughan, pointed to past critical Estyn inspection reports going back to 2011, that showed the overhaul was arriving too late.

Cllr Vaughan said: “Powys have wasted 10 years at huge cost to young people. through their inaction and incompetence; the time for inaction is over.

“We need to invest in new facilities and resources, have a clear vision, but also a commitment to deliver on that rather than being a talking shop.

“The strategic documents being considered  are a welcome step forward, which highlights the issues of concern, the pressures that face the authority and also the aims and vision of education in Wales.

“We cannot continue to lose our young people to Shropshire and Herefordshire for post 16 education.

“We cannot continue to have a haphazard Welsh medium education, or to be lacking with ALN (additional learning needs) support, and we cannot continue with our schools having huge financial pressures with ever increasing deficits and a never ending cycle of staff cuts.”

Mr Gibson-Watt added that that the learning and skills committee would need the resources to be able to scrutinise both strategic and individual proposals as they emerge.

He said that the biggest concerns were on post-16/sixth form education which are “too vague” and “incoherent,” that  risks “derailing the whole process.”

He believes the council, schools, colleges and work-places needed to collaborate on post-16 education in the county.

Cllr Vaughan added that he would have preferred seeing the decision taken by the whole cabinet but conceded that "we live in unique times”.

"Whilst these reports provide the overarching principles, the reality is the important elements will be the fine detail in the next stage when these principles are translated into hard proposals,” he said.

“That is also when it’s important that councillors put young people before parochialism.”