Parents and villagers in Llandinam are celebrating today after the village school was saved from closure.
Llandinam Primary School had been earmarked for closure as part of an education review in the Llanidloes area. But today (Tuesday) at a special meeting in Llandrindod Well,s members of Powys County Council's Cabinet agreed to keep the school open.
Concern had been expressed about the number of pupils attending the school and that the cost of providing education at the site was more than £900 above the county average for primary schools.
Cabinet Member for Learning, Councillor Myfanwy Alexander said: “The cabinet considered a number of options including closing Llandinam Primary School and nearby Caersws Primary School and establishing a new school on the Caersws site or federating both schools.
“However, the options would involve considerable amount of work as well as disruption to both schools and communities with no guarantee of achieving higher educational standards or producing financial savings.
“The cabinet agreed to maintain the status quo but to monitor pupil numbers and reserves the right to review the situation if pupil numbers fall below the threshold for small schools which is currently 35.”
Meanwhile, the Cabinet has also agreed to create its very first "through school" for four to 18-year-olds.
The decision is part of changes agreed under a review of secondary and primary schools in Machynlleth and Llanidloes secondary school catchment areas.
The cabinet approved recommendations to open a new spilt-site 4-18 school on the existing school sites in the town from August 1, 2014 and to formally close Ysgol Bro Ddyfi and Ysgol Gynradd Machynlleth on August 31, 2014.
Cabinet member for Learning, Councillor Myfanwy Alexander said: “The historic decision to create Powys’ first ever 4-18 through school will ensure sustainable, high quality education for four to 18 year olds in Machynlleth and the Dyfi Valley area.
“The new school will have a single governing body and senior leadership team providing an excellent opportunity for developing high-quality and sustainable education in the Machynlleth area. It will be a vital component in allowing local people to live their lives in Welsh if they choose.
“Although the new school will have a capacity of 690 the council will operate the school across two sites and have spilt admissions. The school will operate as a bilingual school.
“Home to school transport arrangements for the new school will remain the same as existing primary and secondary provision, with transport provided for primary pupils living more than two miles and secondary more than three miles from their closest school providing education through language of choice.
“Informal consultation has revealed widespread support for the plan and we look forward to working with the local community to deliver an excellent educational future for the Dyfi Valley.”
Formal consultation on the through school plans was approved by the cabinet in May with public meetings and consultation sessions held during June and July. Responses from the exercise, which showed strong support for the plans, were reported to the cabinet on Tuesday.