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Council slams school closure 'claims'

 
Created on 09/06/2021 @ 07:41
Council chiefs have hit back at claims that plans to close some local primary schools are "flawed and potentially illegal."

It has been claimed that Powys County Council has not met necessary legal consultation requirements when it comes to the planned closures of some schools, including Churchstoke Primary School.

The council has also denied that it is using the pandemic for refusing any form of public meetings with affected communities and confirmed that consultations around school proposals are held in accordance with the Welsh Government’s School Organisation Code.
 
Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Property, said: “The claims by this campaign group are malicious, wholly inaccurate and misleading.  Their baseless claims could damage the integrity of the council if left unchallenged.
 
“The Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys 2020-2030 is one of the most important documents that the council has produced following extensive engagement with learners, the teaching profession and the wider public, who expect us to deliver change that will benefit all learners.
 
“The strategy will not only help us to transform the learner experience and entitlement for all our learners but also help to address the significant challenges facing our education in Powys. These challenges include a high proportion of small schools in the county, decreasing pupil numbers, high number of surplus places, inequality in access to Welsh-medium education, limited post-14 and post-16 offer and inequality in access to special education needs / additional learning needs provision.

“It is also disingenuous to claim that the council is using the pandemic for refusing any form of public meetings.
 
“All consultations around school proposals are held in accordance with the Welsh Government’s School Organisation Code, which does not require meetings to be held as part of the consultation process.  We do meet with governors, school staff and learners to seek their views on our proposals.
 
“Members of the public are given an opportunity to participate and give their views on proposals as part of the consultation process. In fact, we have received over 400 responses to one of the consultations we held recently."