Mounton House special school closure backed by council

Mounton House School
Image caption A £6.4m plan to expand provision at the school was dropped last year

A special school that provides education for boys with social and emotional behavioural difficulties is set to close in 2020.

Monmouthshire County Council leaders voted unanimously to push ahead with shutting Mounton House at Pwllmeyric, near Chepstow, in August.

The cabinet said it was no longer in a "fit for purpose condition".

It comes despite nearly 90% of those responding to a consultation voicing opposition to closure.

More than 2,000 people have also signed a petition against the plan.

But at a meeting on Wednesday, council leader Peter Fox said closing the school would allow the authority to plan to provide wider educational provision in the future.

He said the school was currently "not sustainable and not in the interests of those few learners there", the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

"Sometimes you do have to take these very difficult decision," Mr Fox added.

Will McLean, chief officer for children and young people, provided assurances that the 15 pupils currently at the school would continue to be provided with specialist education in the county.

Last year, proposals to expand the provision on offer at the school were abandoned when it was estimated to cost about £6.4m.

The council was told just eight pupils from the county attended the school, at a cost of £131,000 to place each child there.

Richard John, cabinet member for children and young people, said the school's remit was "no longer compatible with the needs of Monmouthshire".

A notice to close the school on 31 August 2020, will now be published by the local authority.

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