MOUNTON House, Monmouthshire's only state-run special school, is under threat of closure by the local authority, with cost-cutting measures in mind.

Papers for a full Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) cabinet meeting on March 6 include a proposal "to consult on the closure of Mounton House Special School".

The school, located in Pwllmeyric, Chepstow, currently provides day and residential placements for up to 58 boys aged 11-16 who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD). Some of the school's students attend from outside Monmouthshire.

According to the papers, the school's local pupils could be re-located to other secondary schools across Monmouthshire, where new facilities could be set up.

The papers also reveal the council is "unable to discount" the possibility of compulsory staff redundancies. There are 47 staff employed at Mounton House.

If the proposals are successful, the school could be closed by December 31.

In papers made public on MCC's website, the proposals outline three main reasons for closing the school.

The written proposal says the provision at Mounton House is "too narrowly focused on boys alone" and MCC currently places girls and younger children with SEBD in schools outside Monmouthshire. The proposal calls this practice "costly".

The proposal also says MCC has to subsidise costs for pupils who attend Mounton House from other local authorities.

The low numbers of Monmouthshire pupils at Mounton House means MCC currently funds the school an equivalent of £114,731 for each local pupil. MCC projects this will rise to £232,238 for the next academic year.

Citing falling pupil numbers, the proposal's author – chief officer of the council's children and young people (CYP) select committee Will McLean – said Mounton House's economic situation "asks us to consider whether this provides the authority with value for money".

The new plans are a dramatic change in the council's policy towards Mounton House.

This week, MCC agreed to cut funding to Mounton House by £275,000, again citing falling pupil numbers. This will be used, the CYP committee said last week, to 'close the gap' on the council's wider budget. But this decision has been followed almost immediately by the proposals to close the school.

And last April, councillors proposed closing the school but then re-opening a more expansive special school on the same site, open to boys and girls aged 3-19. At a CYP committee meeting in May, Mr McLean gave assurances pupils gave assurances to existing pupils at the school their places were not under threat.

But this week an MCC spokesman confirmed those plans to re-brand and expand the school had been abandoned in the autumn.

MCC has not revealed how it plans to use the Mounton House site if its proposals are successful.