School merger in Llanfyllin backed by Powys councillors

Ysgol Llanfyllin
Image caption Combined pupil numbers at the schools are expected to fall by more than 140 within five years

A plan to merge a town's primary and high schools has been backed by leaders of Powys County Council.

The new school in Llanfyllin, catering for pupils aged four to 18, could help address falling numbers, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

A similar school was founded in 2014 in Machynlleth, and more could follow.

Myfanwy Alexander, the cabinet member for education, said it made sense "to look at the education of our children as a whole".

"This is the product of a good deal of work and a new way of looking at school reorganisation," she told her cabinet colleagues.

Councillor Alexander said governors of the two schools were concerned about educational standards, providing stability and community focus for their area.

Pupil numbers at the two schools are predicted to drop from 844 in January 2020 to 702 by January 2023.

Consultation on the plan had been broadly favourable, she added.

The new school is intended to open in September 2020, along with new premises for Ysgol Bro Hyddgen in Machynlleth.

In 2017, four Llanfyllin High School governors were cleared of accusations they had broken rules by using almost £500,000 of funds to subsidise transport for almost 200 pupils from outside the catchment area.

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