Council cuts could lead to Aberystwyth primary schools closing

Ceredigion county council

Ceredigion County Council

PRIMARY schools in Ceredigion could be merged or even closed as the County Council aims to reduce its budget deficit.

After the latest Welsh Government budget – which was released earlier this month – highlighted that the Ceredigion council budget would be cut by 4.5%, departments have been looking into cost-cutting measures.

Yesterday it was announced in a report put before the local authority’s learning communities scrutiny committee that Alun Morgan, a former Estyn inspector, has been commissioned to undertake a review of the primary and secondary provision of education in and around the Aberystwyth area.

According to the report, Mr Morgan’s brief includes “looking at surplus places; alternative delivery models and impact on language provision.” At present, Ceredigion has the lowest pupil-teacher ratio in Wales and the report argues that the consequences will be of benefit to students in the area because the “rationalisation of primary schools will lead to fewer, larger schools with the resulting economies of scale.”

The local authority is looking to make savings of £150,000 in the 2015/16 period from a budget that currently stands at £38 million. The report highlights one of the saving options and consequences as the closure of some schools, suggesting that there will be “fewer units to deliver education services within this area of Ceredigion”.

The report will be presented to the cabinet and scrutiny committee in December.