Newport's schools could close during Nato summit
6:09am Monday 16th June 2014 in News
MORE than 50 schools across Newport could close when the Nato summit begins at the Celtic Manor Resort just four days into the school term.
When schools come back after their summer break on Monday, September 1, governors can choose to shut up shop for two days because of traffic concerns around the summit, which starts on Thursday, September 4, and is set to be attended by world leaders like US President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande.
Thousands of delegates and journalists from all over the world are due to attend the event. And thousands of anti-Nato protesters are expected to converge on the city.
A spokeswoman for Newport council said they've written to all city's schools regarding the potential impact of Newport hosting the Nato summit.
"In the letter the local authority has advised there will be a knock-on effect on the road network and traffic disruption as well, as the timings of the likely impact," she said.
"The decision for a school to close lies with the individual school. However, the council has outlined to schools the different options they could choose to take, such as having no adjustment to their school day, utilising inset days or closing, as well as adjusting the school hours and finishing earlier."
There are 45 primary schools in Newport and nine secondary schools.
She said "significant traffic congestion and delays" are expected in and around Newport on September 4 and 5, and residents and those travelling to the city are asked to consider walking, cycling, car sharing or using public transport for all journeys over these two days and to allow extra time for travel.
A spokesman for Gwent Police said such decisions will be taken by individual schools.
"During the summit it’s a priority for us to ensure that disruption to the community is kept to a minimum," he said.
"We are working to ensure that relevant authorities are informed of any possible disruption so they are able take appropriate steps to ensure children are able to attend school as usual.
"If a school decides to close during the summit that would be a decision taken by the individual school."
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