Page last updated at 13:10 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 14:10 UK

Plans for Ceredigion schools could lead to 13 closures

Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi in Llandysul
Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi's site has "serious shortcomings", the report says

A radical shake-up of education in Ceredigion has been unveiled in a new report by the local authority, which could see 13 schools closing.

Plans are to create two "all-through" schools in Llandysul and Tregaron, educating children from three to 19.

But it means that six schools in the Llandysul area could close along with seven in the Tregaron area.

The council said pupil costs and empty places had forced it to re-examine its education policy.

A team led by ex-Ceredigion MP Lord Elystan Morgan carried out a feasibility study into the "all-through" scheme.

But the proposals have been met with criticism by the Welsh Language Society.

It accused council officers of trying to "steamroller" plans through.

Empty places

In Tregaron, proposals include building new primary and secondary facilities on the existing high school campus in the town.

But a new site for Llandysul's "all-through" school would have to be found.

The council report said: "The cost per pupil figures are high in the primary and secondary schools in the Tregaron and Llandysul areas. They are amongst the highest in Wales.

"There are a significant number of empty places in the primary and secondary sectors in both areas. This number is also amongst the highest in Wales. In addition, the number of pupils is decreasing."

The report said both secondary schools in Llandysul and Tregaron were not up to standard, along with several primary schools.

"Significant capital needs to be invested in Ysgol Uwchradd Tregaron to ensure that the building meets the minimum guidance issued by the Welsh Assembly Government," said the report.

"Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi's (in Llandysul) site has serious shortcomings in terms of developing the site and the quality of the buildings. The site is not suitable for development into a modern secondary school with adequate resources."

Plans for Tregaron include building a new Welsh-medium all-through school.

This could mean closing the town's secondary and primary school and those in Llanddewi-Brefi, Llangeitho, Bronnant, Lledrod, Pontrhydfendigaid and Penuwch.

But a federal primary school, for pupils aged three to 11, could be created in Pontrhydfendigaid, but it is unclear whether officials will use the existing school or build a new one.

There are also proposals to build a school, for pupils aged three to seven, in the Penuwch, Bronnant and Llangeitho catchment area.

In Llandysul, plans are to shut the town's secondary and primary schools and others in nearby Coed-y-Bryn, Aber-banc, Pont-siân and Capel Cynon. These will be replaced by one all-through school.

'Steamroller'

The Welsh Language campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith is opposed to the move.

The society's chair Angharad Clwyd said: "They [the council officers] are expecting parents and governors to discuss the report without having even seen it.

"It is yet another example of how the officers are determined to steamroller their plans through."

Public meetings to discuss the proposals are being held in Llandysul on Wednesday evening and in Tregaron the following night.

Ceredigion council announced in 2008 that its plans for education could lead to some schools merging or closing.



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SEE ALSO
Council shuts five rural schools
02 Jun 09 |  Mid Wales
Schools are earmarked for closure
27 Apr 09 |  Mid Wales
Future plans for schools outlined
24 Feb 09 |  Mid Wales

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