FORMAL catchment areas for Newport primary schools are set to be put in place for the first time amid controversy over plans for Marshfield Primary School.
Newport council cabinet member for education Bob Poole is considering a report that would approve primary school catchment area boundaries, following a consultation over the winter.
Some 37 responses were received expressing concerns over the proposed catchment for Marshfield Primary School, amid worries that it will exclude the villages of Coedkernew and St Brides Wentlooge.
Current proposed boundaries put both places in the catchment for Duffryn Infants School.
A report to council includes a claim of an historical agreement – Lord Tredegar’s covenant – that supported children from these communities attending Marshfield.
Others said children from the two areas have historically always attended Marshfield Primary and any change could lead to siblings being split up from each other and made to attend different schools.
Some consultees said that the M4 relief road or the proposed Duffryn Link to the SDR could create a barrier between the rural areas of St Brides Wentlooge and Coedkernew, and urban Duffryn, which could result in dangerous access routes to schools.
A small number of respondents commented that standards of educational attainment were higher in Marshfield Primary School and Bassaleg School than in Duffryn’s infant, junior and secondary schools.
Under the current secondary school clusters, pupils at Marshfield generally go to Bassaleg School, while pupils in Duffryn Juniors generally go to Duffryn High School.
Cllr Poole could decide to retain the proposed boundary for Marshfield Primary School or to adjust it, following the representation by consultees, to include a significant geographical area into the school catchment area.
The authority hopes to implement the new school catchment area by September 2015. A decision is expected from the cabinet member soon.
For more information on the now closed consultation visit www.newport.gov.uk/school admissions.