On the 12th October 2023, Powys County Council (PCC) officially announced the start of their statutory consultation period for the proposed closure of Llangedwyn Church in Wales Primary School running from the date it was publicly broadcast until the 23rd November 2023.

PCC and the Governors of the Federated Schools of Llanfechain and Llangedwyn perhaps hoped Llangedwyn School would close quietly and without fuss. The Governors had already stated in public documents months prior to the consultation period that they would not fight the closure. It was widely publicised that the school had low pupil numbers, but nothing was stated about the reasons as to why. The decline in numbers has not been due to a decreasing population in the local area. It has been due to a strategic degradation of Llangedwyn School. Indeed, the school’s latest ESTYN report brings into question the leadership of the school, specifically the non-teaching head and the Governors.

That said, the school closing without objection would not be allowed to happen. The community has sprung into action to challenge PCC’s proposal. Promptly, the Friends of Llangedwyn C in W Primary School Limited (FOLS) was set up, a registered company which will soon have charity status. FOLS have organised social media channels, a website (Llangedwyn School’s website was closed down in November 2023), plenty of community engagement, continuation of the strong links with Llangedwyn’s St. Cedwyn’s Church, a groundforce day (one of several to come) to improve the grounds of the school, fundraising days for the benefit of the school, and lots of enjoyable activities for the children. FOLS managed to raise over £1400 for the school during one event in December 2023 which also held the biggest raffle the school had ever seen.

FOLS have only been in existence since November 2023. Since 2018, Llangedwyn School has been part of the Ffederasiwn Dwy Afon – or Two Rivers Federation – and shares a single governing body and non-teaching head with Llanfechain. You may have read in the press that the Chair of the Governors stated that the Governors had “collectively done everything we can.” FOLS are challenging this statement and suggest the public do too.

Llangedwyn School has educated children for almost 200 years. Its importance is deeply felt, and it is ingrained in the rural culture. FOLS mission is to fundraise as much as possible to help the school. They wish to keep the school open to educate children academically (in the mediums of Welsh and English), learn essential life-skills, absorb Llangedwyn’s rich history, and promote the well-being of pupils now and for generations to come.

This is why FOLS are challenging PCC Cabinet’s decision made on the 19th December 2023 to close Llangedwyn School. The Committee of FOLS have instructed one of the leading education lawyers in Wales to act on their behalf to keep the school open.

There will be a second Public Meeting on Monday 19th February 2024 at 7.00pm at Llangedwyn Village Hall to update everyone on progress so far in supporting Llangedwyn School. Everyone is invited to attend including politicians, the school’s Governors, and members of the press.

For further information, please email friendsofllangedwyn@gmail.com

Pictured:  “Some of the Friends of Llangedwyn School on a recent Groundforce Day”