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Two Newtown schools will merge in 2021

Created on 18/09/2019 @ 08:53
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Two schools in Newtown are set to merge by September 1, 2021 and should have a new school built for them in the next few years.

The cabinet has decided to go ahead and close both Ladywell Green Infant School and Hafren Community Primary School on 31 August 31 2021 and reopen a newly merged school on September 1, 2021.

Education portfolio holder, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander, said: “As a key part of school transformation we intend to abolish the primary divide, having infant junior schools in Powys.

“The reasons for this is a well established educational fact is that any form of transition tends to impact adversely on the learning of young people.

“Every time a child changers school it holds up learning.

“We are dealing with a situation where there is no reason for this divide other than the historic configuration of our schools. It’s a priority for us to create schools that are four to 11 years as we have done in Welshpool.”

Together they will make a school of 239 pupils and a new school building is proposed using the 21st Centuries Schools fund.

Cllr Alexander urged councillors to look at the merger proposals by itself and not think of the North Powys Wellbeing, Rural Regional Centre which has been earmarked for land nearby.

Before the meeting, local member Cllr Daniel Rowlands had attacked the proposal believing that children’s education was being “superseded” by the arguments for building a “Rural Regional Centre” in that part of Newtown.

He believed the pupils of both schools would be losing “green space”.

Portfolio holder for Cllr James Evans Corporate Governance, Housing and Public Protection, said: “I would like some assurances that what Cllr Rowlands has raised has been followed through.”

Cllr Alexander replied: “It is important to state that Cllr Rowlands’ observation relate to sites and buildings which is another stage of this process.

“I would like to offer the strongest possible assurance to Cllr Rowlands as I have with other local members that this is a change being pursued with the sole interest of improving the pupils learning experience at those schools.”

Council Leader, Cllr Rosemarie Harris asked if anyone would be going back to Cllr Rowlands to reassure him.

Cllr Alexander said that she would be happy to meet him.

The cabinet voted the proposal through, with the process now going to consultation to be done in line with the School Organisational Code.

In May, The Welsh Government announced that £2.5 million of funding has been made available for the Wellbeing/Regional Hub Centre project which is earmarked for The Park area of Newtown.

Although it is likely that the project would cost at least 10 times that amount to build.

Services run from the centre could include some pre and post-operative care, day case procedures, diagnostics, outpatients and rehabilitation services.

By Elgan Hearn, Local democracy Reporting Service




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