PAST pupils, family members of current students and friends of a Powys primary school that will shut forever next week are being encouraged to attend a special farewell ceremony.

Irfon Valley Community Primary School will close its doors for the final time at the end of the school term, on Friday, July 19.

On Thursday, July 18, the school would like you to join them for a special afternoon, during which time you can bid a final farewell and share some fond memories.

“It’s the end of an era for Irfon Valley CP School,” said a post on the school’s Facebook page.

“If you are a past pupil, parent, grandparent, member of staff or a friend of the school please join us on Thursday 18th July between 3.30-5.30pm for a chance to share memories and say farewell to the school.

“Please RSVP by Monday 15th July.”

Refreshments will be served, while there will be entertainment too, including circus skills and the animals from Pentre Farm.

If you’d like to attend, get in touch with the school on or ring 01591 620281 by 12pm next Monday.


The decision to close the school, which serves the village of Garth and surrounding communities, was ratified by Powys County Council’s cabinet in March.

The school received a glowing Estyn inspection report in November 2022, but in October last year it was reported that the school had been earmarked for closure due to a “significant” decrease in pupil numbers.

Pupil numbers dropped to 18 this academic year when there were 43 children in January 2023. And figures projected a further drop to 14 from September 2024.

School’s transformation manager Marianne Evans told councillors in March that no objections to the closure had been received during the four-week period which ran from February 2 to March 1.

Director of education Lynette Lovell said: “When we went down to the consultation meeting it was clear the staff there have given many years of service and one had gone through five Estyn inspections in that school which were all successful and good.”

 Pupils at Irfon Valley Primary School were said to have a unique bond with their teachers during a glowing Estyn report in November 2022.Pupils at Irfon Valley Primary School were said to have a unique bond with their teachers during a glowing Estyn report in November 2022.

Education portfolio holder, Councillor Pete Roberts, said: “This is a school that has served its community well over many years; the decline in pupil numbers is no reflection on the school or teaching staff.

“It’s a sad reality is that many of our schools are at the point where they are close to the statutory minimum (10 pupils).”

The proposal to close the school, however, had come out of the blue and follows governors approaching the council for help last summer.

It was found that the main problem was a lack of after school clubs and the convenience that gives parents saw children move to other nearby schools where this is provided.

A little over a year-and-a-half ago the school was being praised for the “caring and nurturing” environment it provides for pupils – with the special relationship between pupils and staff highlighted by Estyn.