An Open Letter to Rhodri Morgan
Dear Mr Morgan
Given that you pay so little attention to what happens beyond Merthyr Tudfil you may not have noticed that Powys County Council is threatening to close four primary schools in Montgomeryshire by August 2008.
None of these schools offers anything less than a good education, indeed one of them, Ysgol Efyrnwy has just had one of the best Estyn reports ever awarded. None of these schools is lodged in unsuitable buildings and every one of them is a real focal point of their community.
The only thing which marks out these schools as candidates for closure is that they have “spare places”, each “empty desk” apparently costing Powys County Council £1000.
I recognise that it is more expensive to fund “small” schools but only in the same way that it is more expensive to perform a hip replacement than set a broken arm. Surely you should not close a school, as Powys intends to do, simply because it is more expensive to fund than a neighbouring school.
The four schools under threat in Montgomeryshire - in Llanwddyn, Llanfihangel-yng-Gwynfa, Carno and Llangurig - between them have 41 “spare places”. I appeal to you, Mr Morgan, to do two things on behalf of these four genuinely community schools. First, out of the £1.2m Assembly surplus for 2006 – 07 would you please direct a paltry £41,000 into the coffers of Powys County Council in order to keep these schools open for another year at least and secondly, given that we are in an election period, would you please instruct Powys County Council to immediately suspend its so-called “consultation” process until it at least sends formal notification of a timetable to the Heads and Chairs of Governors of the schools concerned?
Chair of Governors
Ysgol Efyrnwy, Llanwddyn
Plaid Assembly Candidate for Montgomeryshire