Pupils could be lost to schools in England if another county primary closes, a cabinet member has warned.

Powys Council's senior body voted unanimously to begin the closure process for Ysgol Bro Cynllaith in Llansilin on Tuesday (July 13), and were told of a U-turn on proposals that would have seen Ysgol Pennant in Pen-y-bont Fawr close with Ysgol Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant taking its pupils and becoming a Welsh medium school.

The Llansilin school is the latest to face closure, and the decision to shut Castle Caereinion Church in Wales Primary was rubber-stamped at the same meeting.

But finance portfolio holder Cllr Aled Davies, who represents Llansilin, said that while he supported the move to consult on the closure, the proposal would come with consequences for pupil numbers in the county.

“Ysgol Bro Cynllaith is in one of the furthest flung corners of Powys and the residents of that area are equally entitled to a great education for our children," he said.

“When it boils down, I think it’s correct to go to consultation.


“The Bro Cynllaith numbers are very similar to Castle Caereinion, however there are some key issues that need to be drawn out,

“You can see the English border from the classroom window, and for 75 per cent of the pupils, their closest school would be in Shropshire.

“I get a sense that there would a significant movement of children away from the Welsh education system to a Shropshire school because they are much nearer than a Powys school."

The nearest Powys school is Llangedwyn Church in Wales Primary School, which is less than four miles away – but that too is facing closure, meaning pupils from Llansilin could instead face a journey of "up to 75 minutes" to Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, 6.2 miles away, or Llanfyllin, 8.3 miles away.

County Times: Cllr Aled DaviesCllr Aled Davies

Cllr Davies said: “The bus to Llanfyllin comes past at 7.30am, that would give a very long day for four- and five-year-olds.

“I just wish further options were explored.”

The school has 24 pupils, which is half of its capacity, and its closure would save £81,300.

Primary schools in Trefonen, Woodside (Oswestry), and Selattyn in Shropshire, and Llanarmon in Wrexham County Borough, are closer to Llansilin than Llanrhaeadr is.