CAMPAIGN groups and governors have vowed to battle to save two small schools threatened with closure.
Powys County Council’s cabinet this week agreed to begin a process designed to close both Llandinam Primary School and Ysgol Carno.
The schools, which have 41 and 37 pupils respectively, will now enter what the council calls a ‘six week informal consultation process’.
Campaign groups have been formed to keep both schools open and governors have said they are confident of winning the battle against closure.
Bill Snape, chairman of governors at Ysgol Carno, said: “We were bitterly disappointed with the decision made by the council’s cabinet.
“We had hoped to persuade them to consider an option of federation rather than closure but we have been denied that opportunity.
“Obviously our aim is to try to persuade the county council that they have made the wrong decision and there is an argument for federating it.”
Mr Snape said small schools are vital to the fabric of Montgomeryshire.
He added: “We need to preserve local schools and the Welsh language within communities. We need to maintain the number of pupils in the area learning through the medium of Welsh which will help our high schools in the long run
“The closure of a school has a far more detrimental effect on a community than building a windfarm, which I know the portfolio holder Myfanwy Alexander is so strongly against.
“We will continue to campaign against the decision the council has made and we will make he case for federation with Llanbrynmair and Ysgol Glantwymyn. We are certainly not accepting this as a given and we and the campaign group will be fighting to keep the school
Chair of governors at Llandinam, Jean Carter, said: “Llandinam is a thriving and expanding school. The projected numbers are on the increase and it will become the only small English medium primary school in the cluster and the wider area.
“We are very positive and Myfanwy Alexander, who was the author of the report which was being decided upon, said that the care offered to the pupils at Llandinam Primary School is second none.”
Llandinam County Councillor, Roche Davies, said: “The time scale on this is unreal. Why is Llandinam even being brought into this equation.
“At the moment, including the Learning Tree, there are 78 children who go through that school every week.”
The council says that neither school meets with its preferred model – a single form entry school or one with no more than two age groups per class.
It also says the state of buildings at both are ‘concerns’, that both have surplus places, the cost per pupil is the highest in the catchment area exceeding the average cost per pupil in Powys.
Both campaign groups have set up Facebook groups which can be found by searching for ‘Save Llandinam School’ and ‘Save Ysgol Carno’.
So far the Carno group has amassed 1,433 members, and the Llandinam group has 1,742 members.