TWO south Ceredigion primary school are under increasing threat after a consultation process on their closure was agreed.

Ceredigion County Council cabinet agreed to launch a consultation on closing Beulah Primary School and Trewen Primary School in August 2019 and continuing education provision at Cenarth School.

Plummeting pupil numbers and the impact on children’s experience were cited as reasons for the potential closure but councillors said “everyone will have an opportunity to express their view.”

The recommendation to cabinet followed a schools review panel examination of provision in the area, as well as meetings with governors and headteachers.

Presenting details on the scrutiny committee decision to back the review plan for consultation, Cllr Bryan Davies said: “We were coming back over and over again to the experience of the children.”

Both schools have low number of pupils, with Trewen School seeing a drop from 40 to 18 this year.

Council leader Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn said: “The population of Ceredigion has fallen by 3.5 per cent over the last few years and it does show in the number coming through our schools unfortunately and has put us in a situation where we have to assess the future of some of our small schools.”

Cllr Davies added at Tuesday’s meeting (July 10) that the consultation was a chance for anyone to bring forward alternative ideas that would be considered.

Beulah ward councillor Lyndon Lloyd said parents in the community were fundraising to try to support the 100-year-old school and officers had been “very willing to listen to the voice of the parents.”

Chief executive Eifion Evans warned that any money “gifted” to the school via the council would not be returned if it closed.

He reminded cabinet members that Trewen School had “very good facilities” in a central ward location but talk of its closure had “destabilised” parents who have moved their children already to avoid disruption.

“There’s a huge amount of support to keep both schools open and the council need to know what the response of the local community actually is through the consultation process,” added Cllr Lloyd.

Cabinet member for learning services Catrin Miles assured that “all evidence presented in this consultation will be considered.”

It is expected that the consultation will be launched after the summer break.