A RURAL school threatened with closure is looking to establish a childcare facility in a bid to ensure its survival.

Trewen School at Cwm Cou, Newcastle Emlyn, is currently under threat after being put into consultation as part of a review into primary education in the area being carried out by Ceredigion County Council.

With only 14 pupils currently attending the village school, it, along with neighbouring Beulah, both face an uncertain future.

Parents at Trewen have already launched a recruitment campaign to try to increase pupil numbers and are now looking into the possibility of taking advantage of the Welsh Government’s recently-launched childcare offer with the introduction of a Cylch Meithrin.

This will offer working parents of three and four-year-olds up to 30 hours of free childcare per week.

Governors are working towards a presentation to the County Council during the consultation process.

Chair of governors Peter Wellington said: "The school is developing a business plan for the future and is exploring options with various departments within Ceredigion Council.

“One of the main areas we are exploring is to be a provider for the new 30 hours free childcare offer for qualifying parents, along with establishing a non-maintained education provision for pre-school aged children on site.

“We are looking to see if there is the demand for wraparound cover from 8am-5pm.

“The 30 hours would be free to qualifying parents and the add-on hours would be £4.50 an hour. That would mean child care from 8am-5pm would cost only £13.50 a day and that would make the school more viable.

“Our biggest weakness in the past is that we have not had a nursery facility but with the introduction of the childcare scheme, if we can incorporate that, we become so much more attractive to parents.”

Governors also feel the introduction of the new schools organisation code by the Welsh Government is good news, since it means “for rural schools there must be a presumption against closure. No such school can be closed until all valid options have been explored.”

Mr Wellington added: “Clearly you cannot keep all school open but the presumption is against closure and must only take place when all other viable options have been explored.

“That ‘viable option’ for us could be the child care facility for pre-school children. It would not be part of a maintained school local authority provision and we would argue it would make us more attractive.”

Anyone interested should contact the school governors through the community website ysgoltrewencommunity.weebly.com

The PTA is organising a fun day for August 22 at the school, aimed at uniting the community and showing off the school.