The refusal of Powys County Council’s Education Service to allow online consultation events with the parents and pupils of the schools currently under threat of closure has been condemned by the Council’s Welsh Liberal Democrat – Green Group.
Commenting on the situation, Welsh Lib Dem – Green Group leader Cllr James Gibson-Watt said:-
“While the Schools Organisation Code does not actually require consultation meetings to take place, given the extreme difficulties that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused for all local communities, schools, their pupils and families online consultation meetings with pupils and their families should definitely take place. It is far from clear that the Council is fully complying with the Welsh Government’s Rural Schools Policy and the presumption against the closure of rural schools contained in the Code and this decision adds to our concerns about the Council’s whole approach to this process.”
Cllr John Morris, in whose ward Llanbedr Church in Wales School is threatened with closure added:-
“Parents and pupils of the schools under threat are very upset about the way the Council has gone about this consultation process and I completely share their concerns. The refusal of the Council’s Education Service to allow online consultation meetings is not acceptable and is rubbing salt in to what are already very raw wounds in local communities. I am urging the Council to think again before its actions cause irreparable damage to its relations with all the local communities involved.”