A LOCAL politician has raised concern over the decision to turn Machynlleth’s school into a Welsh-medium centre of learning.

On Tuesday, 12 October, Powys County Council’s cabinet approved the change to Machynlleth’s Ysgol Bro Hyddgen’s language category from dual stream to Welsh Medium.

The proposal will mean that from September 2022, the reception class at Machynlleth’s Bro Hyddgen will be taught in Welsh, in a move which will eventually see all classes from reception to sixth form taught in the language.

Montgomeryshire MS Russell George has expressed his concern about this decision following many constituents getting in touch with his office objecting to Powys Council’s proposals.

Responding to the announcement, Mr George MS said: "It is fantastic to see that many want to learn through the medium of Welsh, but removing the choice from those who wish to or need to learn through the medium of English will continue to be a huge concern for many. I had urged Powys County Council to reconsider their proposal and to listen to the community and their representatives on this matter.

"I had been contacted by many people from Machynlleth who objected to these proposals. People felt very strongly that there should be a choice on offer for children, so all pupils in the Machynlleth area have a reasonable opportunity to learn either through the medium of English or through the medium of Welsh.

“I am very concerned, as are many of my constituents, that this decision will have a huge impact on the local community.

“I think this decision will sadly disadvantage some pupils and will lead to young people having to travel to attend schools miles away from their homes and potentially out of county, which may remove their opportunity to learn in a bilingual environment.

“Now that Powys County Council have made this decision, at the very least they need to ensure fairness when applying their Home to School Transport policy. There will be pupils who for various reasons either need or choose to be educated in the medium of English.

“Powys Council must ensure that these children’s needs are met and that pupil need/choice is not hindered by whether school transport can be afforded by parents.

“Whilst the transition to Welsh Medium Education at Machynlleth may very well be phased, it would be understandable to see some pupils from the Machynlleth area want to be educated in a school where English medium is not being phased out and Powys Council should also consider this when deciding whether to grant free transport to such pupils.”