Plans to change a school in Powys have split opinions in Llanfair Caereinion, a councillor has said.

While many residents welcome the move, according to ward councillor Gareth Jones, a "huge number" oppose it, a meeting of Powys County Council's cabinet was told on Tuesday (March 19).

Councillors received a report following the consultation into the proposal to make Ysgol Bro Caerenion into a Welsh medium school.

After 800 responses were received, the planned move has been put back a year to September 2026 to allow families to "understand the changes and how it will impact them", according to schools transformation manager Marianne Evans.

“It will enable the authority to put the supportive Trochi package (intensive Welsh language teaching) to support pupils," she added.

Ms Evans said a “temporary” schools transport measure will allow current English-stream pupils in years four and below at both Ysgol Bro Caereinon and Ysgol Rhiw Bechan in Tregynon to receive transport to their nearest English medium school.


Ms Evans: “But we hope these families and pupils will choose to stay with Bro Caereinion and move into Welsh medium, however we do recognise this may not be what some families want.

“Once these pupils transfer to secondary provision that offer of transport would stop.”

Llanfair Caereinion county councillor and school governor Cllr Gareth Jones of the Independent group said that the change of language category is a “very emotive” subject in the town.

Cllr Jones said: “There are many who welcome it but a huge number who strongly oppose this move.”

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He added that as a “realist” he supported the proposal as the status quo can’t continue.

Cllr Jones said: “The governors have requested additional funding over and above the (school funding) formula.

“We need a financial commitment because it’s accepted the numbers will drop and with the funding formula the money will be less.”

He believed there needs to be a “written commitment” to give school governors “confidence and faith” that the proposal will succeed.

While welcoming the proposal for free school transport for those pupils in year four and below Cllr Jones believed it was “unacceptable” to take that offer away once the group of pupils has transitioned to secondary school education.

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This needs to be “looked at” again in the future, he said.

Cllr Jones said: “Handled poorly this could split a strong community.

“Handled correctly with a 10 year financial commitment for support, this has the potential as something we can all be proud of.”

Plaid Cymru’s Cllr Bryn Davies who represents parts of the school catchement area added: “I very much welcome this long awaited development.”

Plaid Cymru group leader Cllr Elwyn Vaughan who is chairman of the council’s Welsh medium education panel said he hoped to see Bro Caerenion collaborate with Machynlleth’s Ysgol Bro Hyddgen which is well on it’s way to becoming a Welsh medium school.

Education portfolio holder Libera Democrat Cllr Peter Roberts said: “This proposal represents a step change in this council’s commitment to the Welsh language.

“It gives a Welsh medium school to cover one of our traditional heartlands of the language.”

Cabinet voted unanimously to continue the process.