PLANS to close small primary schools in Powys will be consulted on, and considered next week.

Powys County Council is looking to reconfigure and rationalise the primary school provision in the county as part of its Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys 2020-2030.

The council is proposing to close four small primary schools and on Tuesday, February 9, Cabinet will be asked to start the statutory process to close the following:

· Castle Caereinon Church in Wales School

· Churchstoke County Primary School

· Llanbedr Church in Wales School

· Llanfihangel Rhydithon County Primary School

Should Cabinet approve the recommendation to start the statutory process, consultation on the proposals would start later this month.

The schools could close at the end of August 2022, with pupils transferring to their nearest alternative school, if the proposals are approved.

Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Property, said: “We are committed to transforming the learner experience and entitlement for our learners and we will achieve this by delivering our Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys 2020-2030.

“Our strategy is ambitious, exciting and we believe it will give our learners the best possible start they deserve. However, as we start to implement it, we will be faced with significant decisions as we look to address some of the challenges facing education in Powys which include the high proportion of small schools in the county, decreasing pupil numbers and the high number of surplus places.

“These proposals have not been reached lightly but we have ensured that the best interest of the learners at these four schools were at the forefront of our discussions and decision-making.

“If these schools were to close, then the learners would be attending schools that would be better equipped to meet the requirements of the new national curriculum and that could provide a wider range of educational and extra-curricular opportunities.

“I am recommending to Cabinet that we start formal consultation to close this schools.

“Staff at all our schools have been working in extraordinary circumstances due to the Covid-19 pandemic and I want to pay tribute to their hard work and commitment during this extremely difficult period.

“However, we need to ensure that we can give our learners the best possible start they deserve so it is important that we continue with our transformation plans for education and deliver our strategy.”