NEWPORT council is advertising for the post of head teacher at the soon-to-be amalgamated Gaer primary school.

The new school will be created by merging Gaer Infant and Junior Schools by September this year and the new head teacher, earning between £54,848 and £63,439, would start in post on September 1.

Despite protests from parents and governors last year, the Welsh minister for education Huw Lewis gave the go ahead to merge the schools, which will be based at the junior school site on Gaer Road.

Campaigners wanted an empty annexe at the infants school extended and made into an autism unit, with infant pupils allowed to stay on site.

But the whole infant school on Melfort Road is to be turned into a special autism unit and its 145 pupils moved. The new school will have capacity for 420 students.

Newport council released a statement at the time which said: "There is a national drive by Welsh Government to reduce surplus places to around 10 per cent and the two schools in Gaer are demonstrating significant surplus places in the region of 27 per cent.

"The amalgamation would address this current surplus."

Last year's consultation by Newport council received 465 letters of objection, including 107 handwritten letters and 358 photocopied ones, while more than 100 protesters voiced their concerns outside the junior school.

The advert for the post, which has a closing date of March 3, says the two schools already work very closely together and the council is "looking forward to working with our pupils, parents and community in developing the current site of the junior school to house both key stages".

"Our successful candidate will be an inspirational leader with a clear vision for our new school, preserving, understanding and enhancing the ethos of the two current schools," the advert states.

The new head teacher will need to support the shadow governing body - which has been appointed but has not met yet - to put in place arrangements for the new school before September.