Ceredigion school closure objections to be reviewed by councillors

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Trewen Primary SchoolImage source, Google Maps
Image caption,
Closing Trewen primary school would be a great loss to the community, one objector said

Objections to the closure of three rural primary schools will be considered by council bosses next week.

Plans to shut the schools in Trewen, Beulah and Cilcennin were backed by Ceredigion County Council's cabinet in December.

Falling pupil numbers and rising costs were the reasons given for the move.

Most of the objections are to the closure of the school in Trewen, with some saying it would be a "great loss to the community".

The reports to cabinet state there were 65 objections to the closure in Trewen, nine for Beulah and six about Cilcennin.

One complainant said lifting the threat of closure on Trewen could boost the number of pupils, while another said their son had "learnt more in four months at Trewen than he learnt at a big school in 18 months".

Alternatives were put forward to keep the school open, such as moving pupils from Beulah to Trewen to increase numbers.

Image source, Elentaris LTD
Image caption,
Ysgol Beulah celebrated its centenary in 2017

A delay on closure to build up numbers at all the schools was suggested, in light of new housing developments nearing completion and in the pipeline.

Support for the school in Beulah was backed by a petition signed by more than 200 people. Parents also set up a campaign to save their school.

A teacher from Beulah wrote: "With small class sizes, teachers know their pupils' strengths and weaknesses, and work is set accordingly."

Another objector claimed there were "major flaws" with Cenarth School as a suggested alternative, including potential capacity issues.

Meanwhile the governors of Cilcennin Primary School said they, the parents and teachers all felt they had been "unjustly treated" in the process leading up to the closure announcement.

The reports will be noted by cabinet with a final decision on the future of the schools due to be taken by the full council in May, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

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