Trefilan school closure to be opposed by parents

School pupil The Church in Wales school currently has 15 pupils

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Parents of a Ceredigion primary school threatened with closure say they are confident the school will stay open because of rising pupil numbers.

A consultation process to close Trefilan School, near Lampeter, was backed by the council cabinet on Tuesday 17 December.

The Church in Wales school currently has 15 pupils.

Campaigners claim the creation of 208 jobs at a meat processing plant two miles away will help their cause.

Ceredigion council's policy is to close primary schools with fewer than 20 pupils.

But an action group set up to save the school claims it could have 20 pupils on the school register by the time the consultation process starts on January 6, with another two pupils joining by Easter.

Birth rates

They also claim that the creation of 208 jobs at a new meat processing factory two miles away at Felinfach in February could also boost the school register in the next few years.

Alix Arndt of Trefilan VC Primary School Action Group said: "There are some serious concerns as to why the school is being looked at as according to the council's own documents closure proposals are due to new provisions or due to significantly falling pupil numbers, neither of which is the case for Trefilan School.

"In fact pupil numbers are rising sharply within this academic year and can be expected to rise further given the increase in birth rates and the amount of proposed school closures and lack of capacity within the area.

"The new meat processing plant also strengthens our cause because Felinfach school has only five free places and many of the workers who move to the area will have children."

Ms Arndt added the school also had the option of referring the council's decision to the Welsh government because it is a church school.

The consultation period on the school's future will end on February 17 and a report will be submitted to the council's cabinet on April 1 next year.

Consultation on the proposed closure of four other primary schools in Ceredigion at Dihewyd, Tregaron, Llanddewi Brefi and Rhos Helyg school's Penuwch campus started last month.

A Ceredigion Council spokesman said: "It is acknowledged that pupil numbers based on applications received by the authority are predicted to increase to 20 in January.

"A copy of the consultation document will be sent to all councillors and the Diocesan representative for comment and the document will contain details of all surrounding schools and also confirm their capacity."

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