A Newtown primary school looks set to close with pupils moved to a larger school if Powys County Council approves the plans next week.

Despite many parents coming out against the plans, the council's cabinet is expected to approve raising the capacity of Ysgol Calon y Dderwen's new and yet-to-be-built building so that pupils from Treowen C.P. School can attend in around two years’ time.

From September 2025, pupils would continue to attend the existing Treowen building until the new building in Park Lane is ready.

The move could save the council around £108,000 a year, but the rebranding for the new Ysgol Bro Dderwen would cost around £15,000.

The council's cabinet will consider the findings of the consultation report on Tuesday, May 7.


Dr Richard Jones, the council’s director of education, said consultation responses had been "carefully" considered.

“The council believes that this proposal meets the aims of the Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys as we look to improve the learner entitlement and experience while delivering 21st Century facilities that would provide environments where learners and teachers thrive and reach their potential,” he said.

The development follows protests, public meetings and petitions by parents, families, and residents calling on Powys County Council not to go ahead with the proposal to close the more than 100-pupil school in south Newtown.

County councillor Joy Jones, who vowed to “fight every step of the way" to save the school in her ward, shared last week that the report finding was "awful news for the estate and many families in the area if the school closes".

The report says that almost 120 people shared their views, which more than two-thirds (64 per cent) from respondents linked to Treowen C.P. School, and almost one in five had school-aged children with additional learning needs (ALN).

People raised concerns about losing a central part of the Treowen community, transport issues, funding for maintaining existing Newtown school buildings, increased class sizes, effect on staff, and the impact on disabled and ALN pupils and their parents.

Staff at Calon y Dderwen raised concerns about job security and funding for building a larger school adding that it was "unfair" that they will have to go through "another period of uncertainty" following the merger of Ladywell Green and Hafren schools.

Governors at the school questioned the reasoning and strategy behind the proposal, adding that it would make "more sense" to merge Treowen and Maesyrhandir schools.

Treowen staff and governors raised similar concerns including the school's identity being "unfairly lost", and the "feeling that the school community have already filled in forms and given their views but haven't been listed to". They called on the cabinet members to visit the school.

County Times: Parents say they will protest if the council decides to close Treowen Primary School .

The governing body at Treowen took a swipe at Powys County Council after they were advised not to advertise a full time headteacher role, saying "now you're using this against us".

They added that there are fewer surplus places and better buildings compared with Maesyrhandir.

The governing body raised concerns about the distance from Treowen to Calon y Dderwen and pupils "falling through the net" in a larger school.

"In this school, every member of staff knows every child, and can spot immediately if there are any issues," the response from governors added.

Pupils from both Treowen and Calon y Dderwen schools shared that the merger was a good idea becuase they would make new friends and have more opportunities to play sport.

However, Treowen pupils asked about what would happen to their teachers and the current building, adding that walking down the hill to the new school building near Newtown Library could be difficult for some people.

County Times:

Calon y Dderwen pupils said they were worried about the noise and disruption building work would have on their learning. However, they felt that they would like to design new T-shirts with Treowen pupils so that they can "feel part of the process".

School inspectors Estyn also responded to the consultation. Estyn believes that the proposal put forward by Powys County Council is "likely to maintain, or improve upon, the current standards in terms of education, provision and leadership and management".

Both schools have a similar pupil profile in terms of ALN and pupils who are eligible for free school meals. Estyn added that the proposed plan to build a larger school "may contribute to traffic density" in the Park Street area of Newtown and it may have a negative effect on the attendance of pupils who have to walk further to school.