THE leader of a council has addressed rumours that it could be looking to close down a failing secondary school.

Gwernyfed High School, in Three Cocks, near Hay-on-Wye, was put in special measures by Estyn, the school inspectorate for Wales, after it failed to make sufficient progress to address previous concerns.

In November 2022, the school was told it must draw up an action plan to show how it is going to address the recommendations.

The school, with around 500 students aged between 11 and 19, was told to improve after a damning report in 2020.


It was told to improve pupils' progress, attendance, attitudes to learning, and the quality of teaching and leadership, as well as address all health and safety issues.

Councillor James Gibson-Watt, the leader of Powys County Council and ward councillor for the area, said rumours that the school could be closed were "unfounded".

At December's meeting, he said the school was in special measures "due in part to concerns about leadership within the school".

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He said a new headteacher had been appointed recently, following the retirement of the previous boss, and the new leader has a "fine track record of leading the improvement of secondary schools in the county".

"I am confident that matters will quickly improve at the school," minutes of the meeting said.


Concerns about the physical condition of the school remain and the school's service at Powys County Council was said to be looking at the options for rectifying the situation there.

A previous administration had ditched plans to revamp the campus.

Since the meeting of the community council, Powys County Council has agreed to create a team of education experts to help the school on its “journey to improvement.”