Powys school meetings postponed over venues worry

A school blackboard The consultation process is expected to last four months

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A series of public meetings to discuss plans for a major shake-up of secondary education in Powys have been postponed amid worries over venues.

The first four of a dozen meetings were due to be held in Brecon, Gwernyfed, Llanfyllin and Llanfair Caereinion.

The public consultation was to due to start on Monday, but talks are taking place to re-arrange the meetings.

Powys Council said head teachers had collectively raised concerns related to expected high turnout.

Under plans by Powys council, schools could merge and sixth forms could shut.

Public meetings at Powys' 13 high school sites were due to start in Brecon on Monday.

Start Quote

We would like to reassure members of the public that the meetings will be held at a later date”

End Quote David Jones Powys council

The first four were postponed when secondary head teachers raised concerns about the expected high turn out of people. It is unclear where or when the re-arranged meetings will take place.

"Clearly this is not an ideal situation," said Councillor David Jones, who is responsible for schools.

"However, these concerns have been raised by some of the head teachers in the county and we need to address them.

"We would like to reassure members of the public that the meetings will be held at a later date."

They were planned at Brecon High School on Monday, Gwernyfed High School, near Brecon, next Wednessday, Ysgol Uwchradd Caereinion in Llanfair Caereinion on 16 February and Llanfyllin High School on 17 February.

The local authority approved plans to radically transform secondary education last December, and it could mean that seven or eight schools could operate across 13 sites.

But the proposals are strongly opposed by union leaders who fear heavy job losses.

The council's preferred options for pre-16 and sixth form education are a response to falling pupil numbers and the condition of buildings, the council said in December.

Teaching posts could also be lost through retirement or voluntary redundancies, the council has said.

The proposals for post-16 schooling included stripping schools of their sixth forms and opening sixth form centres or working in partnership with the county's further education college, Coleg Powys.

There are also plans to reorganise pre-16 Welsh-medium education across three sites.

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