Mid Wales

Kylie writer Jim Eliot's song for Gladestry school

Pupils whose school is threatened with closure have recorded a tune with a leading songwriter as part of their campaign to keep it open.

Gladestry Primary School, near Hay-on-Wye, Powys, is backed by Jim Eliot, who lives locally and has worked with Kylie Minogue, Will Young and Olly Murs.

Parents claim closure would hit the community hard.

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Media captionHear an extract from Every Child, recorded to campaign for Gladestry Primary School

Powys council said it was consulting on reducing the number of primary schools in the area from six to three.

Friends of Gladestry School, a campaign group set up to keep the school open, claims it is "one of the top performing primary schools in Wales which is both a centre of teaching excellence and the centre of our rural community."

The group was originally set up as far back as 1986 when the school was first threatened with closure.

Parent Robert Robinson said new plans had been drawn up in April to merge the "small but successful" 43-pupil school with another, Radnor Valley.

"They are going to merge the two schools, but Gladestry would shut and Radnor Valley would take the pupils," said Mr Robinson.

"But it's far too far away for some children to travel to."

Mr Robinson explained that in order to raise awareness of the campaign to keep the school open he had teamed up with Mr Eliot, a friend.

"The children wrote the lyrics and sing it. We came up with the melody," he said.

'Vacant places'

"It's a great upbeat pop song about how children across the world should like to be treated."

The song, Every Child, and a video will be released on YouTube on Saturday.

Mr Robinson said the school's aim was to get as many people as possible to hear the song and view it online, then sign the school's petition.

"The closure of small schools and the devastating effect it can have on the local community is a massive issue round here at the moment," he said.

Powys council said it was reviewing primary school provision as part of a school modernisation initiative.

This would involve the closure of Beguildy Church in Wales School, Whitton (Aided) School and Gladestry Church in Wales School.

The proposals would also involve the creation of a new school in the south of the catchment by remodelling of the school site at New Radnor.

The council said it was also inviting comments on an alternative proposal to have three schools spread over the existing six sites.

A council spokesperson said: "The number of vacant places in this catchment area is very high and this makes the cost of education per pupil high.

"Our plans, we believe, will not only improve the learning environment for pupils in the area but also mean better value for money for Powys taxpayers."

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