How can council close a school without a public consultation?

With a thousand working age adults leaving Powys each year, why is Churchstoke school to be closed without public consultation?

Extensive building is in progress of a hundred small and starter homes.

These augment another 40, built in very recent years.

Buyers are attracted by a school, the landmark supermarket and, crucially, the short commute to jobs in Craven Arms, Ludlow, Shrewsbury, Welshpool and nearby Newtown. Churchstoke’s population is now over a thousand –Wikipedia indeed says 1691- more than Montgomery.

Powys County Council wish to close the school, apparently to create ‘hub schools’ that will improve education.

The school website describes itself as ‘Essentially a village school, which means every child is known as an individual’. If it closes, they will all have to be bused, increasing the carbon footprint. If there is an inherent problem in a modern-built school, shouldn’t Estyn deal with it?

Surely the Powys Cabinet member for Education understands – has he seen the burgeoning construction? When? Instead, he comments (County Times 28th May) ‘If this school is to closed learners (!) would be attending schools that would be better equipped to meet the requirements of the new curriculum and that could provide a wider range of educational and extra-curricular opportunities.’ Does he really think this? Where is the information from?

Cannot the parents have a public consultation, with an MP or MS, in attendance now? A closure date has already been set – effecting a self-fulfilling prophecy. A school closure is too important not to be discussed honestly and fully.

Closure flies in the face of common sense.

The county council should agree to attend an open meeting. They owe it to the community – to act without such a meeting is undemocratic and simply wrong.

Bruce Lawson