A BALA headteacher has been appointed as chief for the new Y Gader all-through catchment school.

The controversial scheme to develop Y Gader’s all-through school has taken a key step forward, with the school’s shadow governing body appointing Jano Owen to the headteacher post.

As a result of the reorganisation, four Meirionnydd schools will close their doors permanently.

At the moment, Mrs Owen is the headteacher at Ysgol Bro Tryweryn and Ysgol Bro Tegid and it is expected that she will start her new job as strategic head at Y Gader all-through catchment school after the Easter holidays.

Mrs Owen will be leading the work of establishing the all-through school in the Y Gader catchment area.

The scheme will mean an investment of £4.3m to improve the condition and sustainability of school buildings in the area.

Cllr Gareth Thomas, Gwynedd Council Cabinet member for education, said: “I’m delighted that Jano Owen has been appointed as the headteacher to lead the new Y Gader All-through Catchment School.

“Jano is a highly experienced headteacher and I’m confident that she will bring her vast experience with her to carry out her new post with enthusiasm and delivering strong leadership to what is a brand new organisation.

“It will be quite a challenge to establish a new school and there will a number of matters to deal with but I have no doubt that Jano will be successful with the help and support of the governors.

“This appointment is a key part of the process of establishing a pioneering education model in Y Gader catchment area that will ensure long-term educational stability for the pupils, parents and staff of the area.”

Chair of Y Gader Shadow Governing Body Helen Jones, said: “It is a pleasure to confirm that the shadow board unanimously appointed Jano Owen as strategic head for Y Gader All-through Catchment School, following a comprehensive and thorough appointment process.

“As chair of the shadow governing body, I’d like to congratulate and wish Jano well on her appointment to this exciting new post, and I’m looking forward to working with her on this innovative scheme.

“A substantial and detailed work programme lays ahead of us to establish the new school, and we will need to address a number of matters relating to the change, but there is no doubt that Jano will be a fantastic leader, whilst also being sensitive and alert to a number of issues, questions and concerns that will inevitably arise within the next few months and beyond.”

On her appointment, Mrs Owen said: “I’m looking forward to establishing and developing the All Through School in Y Gader.

“It’s an exciting and unique period for the whole area and it will be a pleasure to work with all the children, parents, staff and governors and lead them to ensure that we will have a school which will belong to everyone, with everyone taking ownership over its development and success.”