PRESS STATEMENT FROM LLANDRINDOD HIGH SCHOOL GOVERNORS – 27 SEPTEMBER 2016
Llandrindod High School governors are very disappointed by the decision of the Cabinet of Powys County Council to approve the proposal of the Portfolio holder for Education to close both Builth and Llandrindod High Schools and open a dual stream 11 -18 school across 2 sites from September 2018. This was despite an amendment put forward by the full council on 8 September and passed by a large majority, which gave both schools until 2018 to work together to come up with solutions to continue to improve standards.
One of the main reasons given for approving the merger, was that the schools have been collaborating since 2011 and have not managed to improve. This ignores the fact that this collaboration was at Post 16 only, was intended to widen subject choice at Post 16 (which it did) and involved all South Powys Schools and the college not just Builth and Llandrindod High Schools.
The decision also ignores the fact that both schools have improved standards in the past 2 years and Llandrindod High School now outperforms many schools not in special measures. In 2015 the key Level 2+ indicator (as used by Estyn) showed Llandrindod High School in the top 25% of schools in Wales. The final results for 2016 are not yet available but early indications are that this will be repeated this year.
The response from Estyn to the consultation document on the case for merger is most damning. It stated ‘it is Estyn’s opinion that it is not possible to establish whether standards will be at least maintained by the proposal.’ This opinion was ignored by members of the cabinet in making their decision today.
The governors will continue to fight to ensure that standards at the school will build on the improvement to date and to support the excellent work of the staff of the school for the pupils and the wider community. It is vital that progress to date is not put in jeopardy because of this decision by Powys County Council Cabinet today.
Maurice Thorn, Chair of Governors, Llandrindod High School