An oversubscribed Powys secondary has been told by the Welsh Government that it cannot increase its admission numbers, which is determined by Powys County Council, after a request was refused by Education Minister Jeremy Miles.

Parents have had to go through an appeals process to secure a place for their child at Llanidloes High School, which is oversubscribed by up to 45 per cent. This year, 170 applications were received for the 117 available school places.

But now Education Minister Jeremy Miles has determined not to uphold an objection to the admission number for Llanidloes High School as part of Powys County Council’s admission arrangements for 2024 to 2025 after concluding that all processes were followed correctly.

The school is advising families wanting their child to attend the secondary school in September 2024 to submit their applications to Powys County Council "as early as possible".

County Times: The school is oversubscribedThe school is oversubscribed (Image: Anwen Parry/Powys County Times)

Margot Jones, chair of governors, said: "The admission number for a school is the number of school places that the Local Authority must offer in each relevant age group of a school. 

"At Llanidloes High School, our admission number is for 117 pupils.  However, the school received more than 170 applications for admission into Year 7 for this September.


"On the one hand, it's encouraging to be oversubscribed.  On the other hand, we feel for parents who are initially turned down and then have to go through an appeals process to secure a place for their child. Thankfully, many of those who appealed were successful.

"In support of future parents, governors wanted to explore whether the admission number for the school could be increased which would mean the Local Authority could offer more children a place at the school without the need to appeal.

"However, we recognise that, in exercise of his powers under the 1998 Act, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language has decided not to uphold the school's request. Therefore, since the admission number will remain the same for the time being, we advise all families of children in the new Year 6 who want their child to attend Llanidloes High School in September 2024, to submit their applications to the Local Authority Admissions Team as early as possible."

A Welsh Government spokesperson said "it’s up to local authorities" to decide how many learners a school can admit.

"In considering the objection to Powys Council's decision not to increase Llanidloes High School’s admission cap, the Welsh Government looked at the statutory processes the Council followed, and concluded that all processes were followed correctly."

The Welsh Government added that Powys County Council calculated the capacity and admission number in accordance with the Measuring the Capacity of Schools in Wales guidance, and followed the procedures on consultation provided in School Standards and Framework Act 1998 and the School Admissions Code.

A spokesman for Powys County Council said: "An annual admissions consultation is carried out in line with the Welsh Government’s statutory School admissions code. When circulating the determined admissions arrangements, consultees are advised of how they may object in writing to the Welsh Minister.

“Powys County Council is aware of the objection submitted by Llanidloes High School and the decision reached by the Minister for Education and Welsh Language.” 

More information about the application process and deadlines is available from the Powys County Council website:  The Secondary School Admission Round for Powys learners born between September 1, 2012, and August 31, 2013, opens on Monday, September 18, and closes on Friday, November 10.