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More detail needed on schools' reform

Created on 05/10/2020 @ 15:23
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More detail is needed on the school reorganisation proposals before they can be scrutinised in depth, a committee chairman has told Powys County Council’s Cabinet.

At a meeting of the Cabinet last week approval was given to five business cases for reorganising, closing, merging and building new schools in five areas, as well as asking the Welsh Government for an extra £150 million to fund it.

The proposals, which need to be discussed by the schools, governors and communities affected by them, will come before the council’s Learning and Skills Scrutiny Committee for examination.

The committee’s comments should then be taken into consideration by the Cabinet before decision are made.

Chairman of the learning and skills scrutiny committee, Cllr Pete Roberts, said: “Normally you would expect a scrutiny response on these papers.

“In this instance we have agreed with officers that scrutiny will not look at this point of the process.”

Cllr Roberts explained that the revamped proposal for Machynlleth’s Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, had been looked at in the past, and merging the primary and secondary schools in Llanfair Caereinion would not be an issue that the committee looked at.

Cllr Roberts added: “When you look at the remaining proposals all of them state that a further report will be coming back to cabinet at varying points over the next few months.

“It’s at that point when there’s more detailed information with input from individual schools and governors that scrutiny will be looking in more detail at these proposals, and coming back with more information an our comments at that point at these very important and far reaching proposals.”

Earlier, Portfolio Holder for Education, Cllr Phyl Davies, had put forward the recommendation that the Cabinet approve a revised Strategic Outline Programme (SOP) for an extra £150 million for the “Band B” funding programme to support the Council’s Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys 2020-30.

Cllr Davies said: “Investment requires change, each proposal that we will bring forward over the coming months will be designed to change the learner experience in our schools.

“This is only the first wave of proposals that need to be considered, there is much to be done.

“Due to the increased transformational proposals within the schools programme we have to submit a revised SOP to Welsh Government requesting a funding increase. ”

Cabinet approved the proposal.

This new agreement, if approved by the Welsh Government, would see the investment increase  from £113 million to £263 million.


By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporting Service


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