A FINAL hurdle to creating an all-through school in Llanfyllin has been jumped.

A single objection to amalgamating the town’s Secondary and Primary schools was received within the statutory notice period between March 20 and April 17.

This follows the decision being taken by cabinet on March 12 to amalgamating the schools.

Education portfolio holder Cllr Myfanwy Alexander (Independent – Dyffryn Banw) said:  “We did receive one objection during the time which is attached to the report along with its mitigation .

“Which allows us to be confident that we can move forward with the all-through school having listened to the points that were raised.

“It’s an issue that’s been raised in this forum many times.”

The objection centred on the school’s categorisation as a 2C (50 to 79 per-cent of subjects excluding English and Welsh are taught in both English and Welsh).

The complaint which was anonymous, expressed “disappointment” that the new-all through school would not become a 2B (Excluding English and Welsh 80 per-cent of subjects are taught through both English and Welsh) secondary school.

The complaint stated: “Disappointed that the council intends to downgrade the Welsh language within the education system.

“Hoped that the council’s plans to merge the two schools would strengthen the position of the Welsh language.

“The council’s latest Welsh on Education Strategic Plan included a commitment to improve the schools language category to 2B by 2020.

“Why has the council not kept it’s promise?”

In replying to the objection, PCC’s education department said: “The council does not intend to downgrade the Welsh language.

“The proposals provides an opportunity to strengthen the Welsh medium provision in Llanfyllin in the secondary sector in particular.”

The council also believes that anyone keen on developing Welsh medium education should discuss it with the school governors as they actually hold the key to this development.

The report also goes on to say that a long term plan is to have a 2A (At least 80 per cent of subjects apart from English and Welsh are taught only through the medium of Welsh to all pupils) bilingual school in North Powys.

The report says: “The council would fully support the governing body continuing to develop the Welsh Medium provision at the school, with the aim of providing 2B provision.”

The statutory process will see both schools close from August 31, 2020.

And on the next day, September 1, 2020, a fully bilingual all through school from the age of four to 18 will be opened.

The consultation took place from the end of November 2018 to the end of January 2019.

The proposal of establishing the new all through school was supported by 63 per-cent with 29 per-cent against and eight per-cent “don’t knows”.

Combining the schools would address falling numbers at both sites, which are predicted to drop from 844 pupils in January next year to 702 by January 2023.