Mid Wales

Powys council agrees new Welsh medium school in Newtown

Image caption Powys council has been looking at the future of all its schools

A new Welsh medium school will be built next to Newtown High School to meet growing demand in north Powys.

Powys council says the new 270-pupil school could expand to 300 if needed.

Councillor Stephen Hayes, cabinet member for learning and leisure, said the existing Ysgol Dafydd Llwyd was full and had building deficiencies.

Chair of governors Daniel Owen said: "This significant decision confirms the huge demand for Welsh medium education in the Newtown area."

'Just reward'

"Ten years ago, the local education authority established Ysgol Dafydd Llwyd as the only designated Welsh medium school in north Powys," he added.

"The considerable success of the school highlights the vision for the future of Welsh medium education.

"The new 21st Century building will be a just reward for the hard work of all pupils, parents, staff and governors - past and present."

Confirming the council cabinet's decision on Tuesday, Mr Hayes said: "The existing Welsh medium school at Ysgol Dafydd Llwyd is not only operating at capacity, but Estyn has highlighted significant deficiencies in its buildings.

"This new school will provide a fit-for-purpose school for our youngsters and will help the council meeting existing and future demand for Welsh medium education in the Newtown area."

Modernisation plans

Meanwhile, Powys council is to launch an informal consultation on proposals to cut the number of primary schools in the Presteigne area.

The authority says having three schools over six sites will reduce the number of vacant places and cut costs.

Meetings early in the summer term will invite school staff, governors and local residents to have their say.

The primary schools affected by the consultation plan agreed by the council cabinet on Tuesday are in the catchment area for John Beddoes secondary school in Presteigne.

A third of places at the area's secondary schools are said to be vacant.

Powys council has been considering plans to modernise all its primary and secondary schools in a rolling programme.

In November the council agreed to keep all 13 secondary schools open but said it expected them to forge links and work more closely together.

However, it has already agreed to close 10 primary schools and build four replacements in and around Ystradgynlais at a cost of £36m, which also includes the £9.6m refurbishment of the town's secondary school.

In Machynlleth and Llanidloes, plans for for two new "super schools" for 3-19-year-olds could mean the closure of at least three primary schools.

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